Today in the concluding part of our series on “so near, yet so far” Biblical examples, we shall focus on two subjects under two separate sub-headings…
“Then Jesus replied, ‘Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!'” (John 6:70)
Now Judas was always, so to speak, rubbing shoulders with Jesus 24/7/52/3.5, but where was his heart? On money obviously (John 12:6/Luke 22:3-5)! If the benefits of eating the forbidden mattered more to Adam and Eve than right relationship with their Creator; if to most of the travelling Jews (en-route to Canaan), spicy and tasty fare meant more than their Redeemer; if to hard-core Law-teachers, the mechanical adherence to it mattered more than a love-laced right relationship with the Giver of the Law (from which would emerge justice and mercy and faithfulness — Matt 23:23); then to Judas, money appealed more than the Saviour.
Now welcome to the Old Testament counterpart of “betrayer” Judas, Ahithophel the betrayer (may not be as well-known as Judas but just as devious all the same — Psa 55:12-14) who, too, was on the “team” of Jesus’ ancestor King David in the capacity of a counselor (1 Chro 27:33/15:12). If for Judas, money mattered more than the Saviour, then for Judas’ “fore-runner”, revenge against the anointed King (being Bathsheba’s grandfather, Ahithophel had a grouse against David because of latter’s immoral dalliance with her — 2 Sam 11:3/23:34) mattered more than right relationship with the Wonderful Counselor (Leviticus 19:18/Deu 32:35).
Folks, stay away from greed and the propensity to take the law into your own hands…
Are you always carrying the Bible (Broadly speaking having two testaments of the Mosaic Law and the Gospel) in your hands whenever possible? Good. Is the Bible always with you…being part of your Smartphone now? Better. But please do not settle for good or better instead go for the Best…a la David.
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
Somehow, thanks to the introduction of chapters and verses in the Bible (courtesy Stephen Langton in the 13th century and Robert Estienne in the 15th century), Christians seem to have lost the art of memorizing the Scriptures and constantly meditating upon it (Psa 1:2). Yes, chapters and verses would help us refer the Scripture portions easily, but nothing is quite like memorizing scripture and chewing upon it. With the help of the ever-abiding, in-dwelling Holy Spirit, doing so eventually facilitates obedience to it, for what use is the “nearness of the Word” (in hands in printed or digital form) if it is not being adhered to with love (Matt 7:21/2 John 1:6-NLT)?
So Dear Friends rather more than saying we are near to the Lord, let us through our lives of constant obedience to Him in all matters, exemplify that truth and obtain the witness thereof from the Father Himself….
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matt 3:17)
Prayer: Father, by the leading of Thy Spirit, enable us to examine closely the health of our “spiritual hearts” on daily basis. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
J and SM Ministries
An Unworthy Servant
(To access the entire “So Near, Yet so Far” mini-series, please click here.)