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“Hey Matt!” Justin shouted. “Where are you?”
“Over here, Justin!” Matt called from his backyard.
Justin quickly ran to the gate of Matt’s yard and stepped inside. “Whoa!” he exclaimed when he saw Matt dressed up in a black costume holding a glowing plastic sword.
Matt lifted up his mask to talk. “You like it? I just got it today!”
“Wow! It’s cool,” Justin replied. “You look just like that bad guy, the evil Dr. Irksome, on the cartoon.” Justin looked closely at the mask and sword. “I wish I could get a hero costume.”
“Why do you want the hero costume? You could get one like mine, and we’d both be bad guys. They’re way cooler than the heroes. And it’s more fun to fight with a glowing sword.”
Justin thought about that. “Well, maybe you’re right. I’ll have to ask my mom.”
The boys played in Matt’s backyard until his mom called him inside. “See ya later, wimpy good guy!” Matt called out as Justin left.
“Wimpy good guy?” Justin said to himself. “I don’t want to be wimpy. How come the bad guys are always better?” Justin was still mumbling to himself when he walked into his house.
“What did you say?” his mom asked.
“Huh? Oh, I guess I was just trying to figure stuff out,” he said. Then Justin asked, “Mom, can I get a costume like Matt’s?”
“Well, I don’t know.” Mom sat down and stirred her coffee. “What kind of costume does Matt have?”
“It’s a really cool one,” Justin said excitedly. “It’s got a black and silver mask, a black shirt and boots. And best of all, it has a sword that glows!”
“Wow! That sounds pretty fancy. But why is it all black?”
“Because he’s the bad guy, Irksome. You know, from the cartoon,” Justin explained.
“Oh! Right,” Mom said. “I like the good guy better. Isn’t his name Justice Du’Good? That’s close to your name. How about getting that costume?”
Justin frowned. “Matt says he’s wimpy. Besides, it’s more fun to be Dr. Irksome ’cause he’s got a glowing sword.”
“Hmm,” said Mom. “Let me think about it. Until then, you can go next door and play with Jessie. She was over here earlier, wondering where you were.”
Justin ran across the backyard and through the gate. He knocked on Jessie’s back door. “Hi, Justin,” said Jessie’s mom. “Jessie’s in the other room.”
Justin walked through the kitchen to the living room where he found Jessie sunk down in her beanbag chair.
“Hi, Jessie,” Justin said as he flopped into the other beanbag.
“Hi! Our favorite cartoon is just starting.” Jessie pointed to the TV and watched as the show began.
“Hey, Matt has a costume just like Dr. Irksome,” said Justin as the cartoon villain came on the screen.
Near the end of the show, Justice Du’Good burst into Dr. Irksome’s hideout. “What? You again?” shouted the evil doctor. He lifted his glowing sword and took a step toward the hero.
“Yes,” said Justice Du’Good. “It’s me again, and it will always be me because good will always be stronger than evil.” Then he lifted his shield and used his sword to smash Dr. Irksome’s evil machine he had made.
“Ahhh! My evil machine!” shouted Irksome. “Now I have to start all over again.”
“If you do, I’ll be back because I’m the good guy!” And with that, he turned with a swish of his cape and was gone.
As the cartoon ended, Justin turned to Jessie and said, “Justice Du’Good’s sword doesn’t even glow.”
But Jessie wasn’t paying attention. She sat in her chair with her Bible in her lap. “. . . Sixteen, seventeen . . .” she counted. “. . . Eighteen, nineteen. Wow!” Jessie looked up at Justin. “There were nineteen of them.”
“Huh? Nineteen what?” Justin gave her a confused look.
“Evil kings,” Jessie explained. “Israel had nineteen bad kings and no good kings!”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“The cartoon we just watched reminded me of good guys and bad guys in the Bible,” Jessie explained. “I have a chart of the kings in Israel and Judah—almost all of them were evil. I didn’t know there were so many bad guys in the Bible.”
“Really? Cool!” Justin exclaimed.
“Cool? That’s not cool. The bad kings hated God!” said Jessie. “My dad said they worshipped false gods and killed people and did all sorts of evil stuff.”
“Hmm. I guess you’re right,” said Justin. “But don’t you think the good guys were kinda wimpy?”
“No way!” Jessie replied. “The good kings in Judah were really cool. My mom read about some of them. God used them to fight against evil enemies and tear down idols of false gods in their land. I don’t think that sounds wimpy at all.”
Justin thought about what Jessie said over the next few days. On Wednesday he got to go shopping for a costume. Justin was excited when Saturday finally came so he could go to Matt’s house to play.
Once again Matt stood in his black costume with the glowing sword in his hand. “You can’t get me this time,” he called out in his pretend bad-guy voice.
“Oh yes, I can!” Justin shouted back. He moved forward and raised his brand-new shield. On his back, a blue cape swished in the breeze. He proudly held up his shiny play sword. “Good is always better than evil, and I’m the good guy!”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.