Bill Rohan and Percy Hapgood undergo basic army training during the Korean war, however they never quite make it to Korea, and instead find themselves teaching other conscripts to type. They are forever under the beady eye of the intolerant Sergeant Major Bradley, who is regularly placing them on various charges for every crime and misdemeanour in the book.
The lively and reckless Bill and Percy spend much of their time doing battle with Bradley, eventually hatching a plot which brings him crashing down. His legalistic ways proved to be his downfall. The Pharisees were known for their enthusiasm for rule keeping. Not only did they tell everyone to obey every single one of Moses’s laws, they had also created a rule book of their own as well.
The Pharisees believed that if everyone obeyed every single law then the Messiah would return and bring the kingdom back to its full glory. Jesus presented them with a big problem. He was less concerned with keeping all their rules of behaviour and more concerned with bringing God’s care and grace to the many who considered themselves unacceptable and discarded. Jesus’ aim was to offer life in its fullness, and that often clashed with the rule-keeping way. Yet, when accused of breaking the law, he said he had come to fulfil it. To embody it. The law of God and the love of God in human flesh. Righteousness and mercy meeting and embracing within him. To move people away from the ‘You’d better sit up and behave’ mentality into a relationship with the creative, compassionate living God. ‘I no longer call you servants,’ he said, ‘but friends.’