Sunday Afternoon with Tobias

“So, how was your date with–what’s her name?” Puah asked, trying not to sound resentful.

It was Sunday afternoon and they were sitting outside on the patio of the apartment building where they lived. She had called him earlier and he had told her he would be out there.

“It was great,” he replied. “Is that why you came out here?”

“No. I came because I wanted to spend time with you.”

“Do you have any Bible questions?”

“Now that you ask. I have a couple. Didn’t Jesus come to do away with the Ten Commandments and establish a new commandment of love? What about when He said, love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself? Isn’t love to God and our neighbors all Jesus requires from us. Aren’t these the new commandments?”

“Jesus didn’t come to do away with the Ten Commandments. Instead, He summarized them into two–love God and love your neighbor. He was quoting from Deuteronomy when He said to love the Lord your God with all your heart. In Leviticus, God instructs His people to love their neighbor as themselves. Jesus said that on these two commandments–love God and love your neighbor hang all the laws and the prophets. In other words, these two commandments fulfill the law. The first four commandments reveal how we should demonstrate our love to God and the last six how we should demonstrate our love toward our fellow man. Jesus didn’t come to do away with the law but to fulfill it. He came to show us how love is the fulfilling of the law. If you love God you will do the things which please Him like not worshipping other gods or bow down to images or statues or taking His name in vain and keeping His Sabbath holy. If you love your neighbor, you will not harm them, commit adultery, covet what they have, steal from them, lie about them, etc.”

“So, the two commandments–love God and love your neighbor is actually the Ten Commandments condensed.”

“Yes. It’s important to remember that Jesus said that if you love Him, you will keep His commandments.”

“So, the commandments aren’t just for the Jews?”

“No. They are for everyone. It’s as wrong for a non-Jewish person to commit murder or adultery just as it’s wrong for a Jewish person. Take Joseph for example. He knew that it was wrong to commit adultery with Potiphar’s wife. He knew that it would be sinning against God. The Ten Commandments were written by God Himself and given to Moses at Mount Sinai but up until then, it was wrong to break any of them.”

“I see what you mean. So, what you’re saying is that the commandments existed before Mount Sinai, it’s just that they weren’t written down.”


“You have such a wonderful way of explaining things, Tobias. You should be a Bible teacher.”

He smiled. “I teach Sabbath School at my church.”

“Really? Who do you teach?”

“You mean whom do I teach. I teach the Youth–people your age and younger.”

“If I were to come to your church, could I be a part of your Sabbath School class?”

“I don’t see why not. I’ll email you the PDF file for the lesson we’ll be studying this week.”

“Will I have to participate in class?”

“You don’t have to.”

“Good. I’ll just be there to listen and to observe.”

“Make sure to bring the lesson and your Bible.”

“I will. So, what’s your girlfriend’s name and does she go to your church too?”

“Her name is Yasma and, no, she doesn’t go to my church.”

“Is she even a Christian?”

“Yes, she’s a Christian but she’s not an Adventist like me.”

“Have you ever invited her to your church?”

“Yes, several times and she came each time.”

“Does she like your church?”

“Yes. She likes the praise time and worship service.”

“So, is it really serious between you and her?”


“All right. It’s none of my business.”

“Are you and your grandmother free this coming Saturday?”


“I would like to take you both to dinner but please double check with her to make sure that she’s available.”

“I will. Where are you taking us?”

Ooshee Mediterranean Oven where they serve the best Lebanese food in Toronto.”

“That’s where you’re from, isn’t it–Lebanon?”


“When was the last time you’ve been there since you moved to Canada?”

“Two years ago, I returned to Tripoli for my grandmother’s funeral.”

“Do you miss Tripoli?”

“No. After I finished school, I moved to Beirut and attended Middle East University. That’s where I learnt about the Seventh-day Adventist Church and introduced to Jesus Christ. I attended University Church while I was a student and before I graduated, I was baptized. I left Beirut and came here to Canada. If I were to return to Lebanon again it would be to Beirut and to the church where I felt so at home and was baptized. I will never go back to Tripoli again. I don’t have any ties there any more.”

“I guess you miss the food, though.”

“Yes but the good thing about living here in Canada, is that I can always go to a Lebanese restaurant.”

“Is Yasma Lebanese too?”

“No. She’s Syrian.”

“Have you ever taken her to the restaurant you’re taking my grandmother and me to?”


“Do you plan to take her some time in the future?”

“Maybe. It looks like it’s going to rain.” He stood up and she reluctantly did the same.

She wished they could stay out there much longer. Oh, well. She had school tomorrow and it was almost time for dinner. It was amazing how quickly the time went by. When they were in the elevator, she asked hopefully, “Can I come over tomorrow?”

“Yes, you may come over after you’ve done your homework and if your grandmother doesn’t object.”

“She won’t object,” she assured him with a smile.

The elevator doors opened and they got out. “Have a good evening, Puah.”

“Thanks, you too, Tobias.”

He waited until she went into her unit before continuing down the hall to his. As he let himself into his flat, he wondered if it was such a good idea to have her come over to his flat tomorrow. It was becoming increasingly hard being with her. His attraction for her was growing stronger. It was only a matter of time before he acted on it and that was what scared him. Perhaps, in the future, he should make sure that when they were together it was in either at her place when her grandmother was there or in public.

Source: Go Nomad

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