The priest with Dirty Clothes was written by R. C. Sproul and illustrated by Justin Gerard. The two combine their talents very well in this book- I was very glad to receive a copy of this book free from Ligonier.
When little Darby and Campbell play in the mud and get themselves covered, Grandpa has a story to tell them. There once was a young priest who was on his way to preach his first sermon before the King. This young priest is wearing his new, clean clothes, and the roads are very muddy, and the rain is pouring down.
Jonathan leaves the castle, determined to find a way to clean his clothes. He washes them, but no soap can clean them. He brings them to a launderer, but no human launderer can cleanse them. The stains are too deep! Jonathan goes to the Bishop, and begs for another suit of clothes- but only one robe is given for each priest! "I cannot help you."
Where shall I go for help? wonders Jonathan. To the Great Prince, is the answer. The Great Prince knows that Jonathan's heart is dirty with sin and his clothes are dirty with stains.
Jonathan cannot clean either his own heart or his clothes. The Great Prince commands Jonathan to go before the King again, in his dirty clothes. I will take care of you, promises the Prince. "I always keep my promises."
Jonathan goes before the King, in his dirty clothes, trembling before the accusations of evil Malus- who delights in keeping Jonathan far away from the loving King.
all of the sudden- the Great Prince enters the Throne Room, dressed in a rough brown peasants robe. He is carrying his beautiful, clean clothes, for Jonathan to put on, and Great Prince puts on Jonathan's soiled robes. "Father," says the Great prince, "May Jonathan stand before you now?" Yes says the King, as long as he wears Your clothes, my Son, Jonathan may stand before me.
We must ask now- can we be clean? No, not by oursleves. Can we be given the Prince's clothes?
“Yes,” Grandpa answered. “He gives clean clothes to everyone who believes in Him. But they are not clothes like the ones you ruined today. The Great Prince gives new clothes for our hearts. “The dirt that we get on our clothes can sometimes be washed away. But we have a bigger problem. When we sin and do wrong, our hearts become so dirty that we cannot stand in front of God. For us to be able to be friends with God, we need to have the dirt on our hearts cleaned away. This is what Jesus does for us. He forgives us by taking the dirt from our hearts and putting it on Himself, just like the great prince took Jonathan’s dirty clothes and wore them.
So when God looks at us, He doesn’t see the dirt on our hearts. Instead, He sees a heart covered by His Son’s clean clothes. If you trust in Jesus and believe His Word, your heart will be clean. Jesus will forgive you when you sin. But you have to ask Him to forgive you. Then He cleans your heart, and you can stand in front of God forever.” And as the wind flaps the clothes dry on the line, and gives them a breezy perfume, our hearts sing with the knowledge that we have clean clothes too. Jesus' clothes.