Jorge Rodriguez was a bank robber who operated along the Texas border in the late 1800s. He lived in a small village in Mexico and frequently crossed the Rio Grande into Texas to hit the banks. He was so successful with his robberies that the Texas Rangers finally placed an extra posse along the river for the sole purpose of catching him.
Late one afternoon one of the men in that posse saw Rodriguez slipping across the river back into Mexico. Since there was no time to collect any other members of the posse, the Ranger decided to trail Rodriguez at a discreet distance back to Rodriguez’s village. Once there, the Ranger watched Rodriguez mingle with the people in the village square and then go into the cantina.
Now the Ranger had Rodriguez cornered. He also had the element of surprise on his side. So he carefully made his way to the cantina and barged in with pistol in hand. As he stood in front of the stunned Rodriguez, he said, “I know who you are, Jorge Rodriguez, and I have come to get back all the money you’ve stolen from the banks in Texas. Unless you give it to me now, I’m going to blow your brains out.” The Ranger thought he had Rodriguez right where he wanted him, but he didn’t realize that the bandit couldn’t speak English, which put the two men at a communication impasse.
Just then a little Mexican spoke up and volunteered to serve as translator. The Ranger agreed and the little fellow translated the ultimatum for Rodriguez. Upon hearing it Rodriguez grew visibly nervous and answered, “Tell the big Texas Ranger that I have not spent a cent of the money. If he will go to the well in the town square, face north and count down five stones, he will find a loose stone. Pull it out and all the money is behind it. Please tell him quickly.” To that the little Mexican got a solemn look on his face, stared the Ranger squarely in the eye, and said in perfect English, “Jorge Rodriguez is a brave man. He says he is ready to die.”
What’s the lesson of the story? Everybody is not your friend. In view of this be careful who you trust. Don’t confide in just anybody. Understand that even though you might have hundreds of acquaintances you’ve only got a few real friends who’ll be there for you when the chips are down. And, first and foremost, realize that Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). After all, He’s the only friend you’ve got who has proven His love for you by literally dying for you:
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13)