Thursday, July 12, 2012
Judas, the son of a Religion
It is a huge privilege and also a big responsibility to be the children of parents that love and follow Jesus. To be the children of parents that walk so close to God that His touch is visible and clear in so many ways. Children that got to watch from the front row God working in their parent's lives in amazing forms, children that have not just heard of God, but have seen Him through their parents.
Once upon a time, there was such a son. Nebuchadnezzar was king over Babylon and had invaded Jerusalem taking with him all their wealth, gold, silver and even their best people to serve at his palace. But his heart became so proud that God touched his life and made him like the beasts, looking like a fool, until he recognized his pride, and worshiped God that is above all. "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down." Dan 4:37
Now you would think that Nebuchadnezzar's children, after watching him go through such a powerful experience, would have learned themselves a lesson. But his son, Belshazzar, the successor of the throne, once he became king, acted completely against God. Belshazzar decided to have a party and use the vessels and cups that were from the temple in Jerusalem to drink wine and praise the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone. (Dan 5:4) However, God was watching, and He through the prophet Daniel warns him: "But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this (about what happened to his father). And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven.... And the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified". Dan 5:22,23 And at that same night Belshazzar was killed by another king that took over his kingdom.
"Although you knew all this". What a powerful statement! The elders, chief priests and teachers of law that killed Jesus were all descendant of those who had watched the Red Sea open, who ate manna that fell from the skies and saw a strong wall around Jericho falling down by itself, among thousands of other miracles. And they had heard their parents tell them about these stories over and over again. They knew all this. And yet, they killed the Son of God. Why? Because they had become children of a Religion, and not children of God.
Judas, was also the son of a Religion. He was such a good follower of his religion that he did exactly what the top people of his religion wanted him to do: he delivered Jesus to them. And just like Belshazzar, he gave more praise to the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone, as he was more interested in money than in God Himself. "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you? and they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver". Mat 26:15
Jesus had fed Judas, had opened the eyes of the blind, resurrected the dead, made the lame walk. Judas knew all this, he knew from hearing his parents tell him the stories from the past, he knew from watching with his own eyes the miracles Jesus was performing. But he chose to follow a religion instead.
Are you the son or daughter of a religion? Or are you the son or daughter of God? Are you just following your parents rituals, or are you following Jesus? Now, Jesus calls the sons of Religion, sons of the devil. "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God... you are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do". Jo 8:42-44
Who do you rather have as your father: the devil, a liar and a murderer; or God, the Truth and giver of eternal life? "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name". Jo 1:12 If you are not following Jesus, you are following something else, maybe you think that you are following the gods of gold and silver, like Judas, but Judas was really following a lie, he was following his father, the devil.
What else does Jesus has to do to catch your attention? He already gave Himself, His life, His body, His suffering and all His love to you. He wants God to be your Father. God wants to hear you call him Abba Father, He wants to free you from serving the other father, the devil. He wants to give you life, abundant life. He wants you to live so close to Him that His touch is visible and clear in so many occasions and let you watch Him working in your life in amazing ways, that you may truly see Him with your eyes as a child of God yourself.