Friday, March 29, 2013

Judas Kiss!

As we approach GOOD Friday, I cannot help thinking of all the events that happened 2000 years ago in its minute details.

Especially the emotion of our LORD Jesus Christ who was wholly GOD and MAN, it must have been a toughest job on earth. To have the power, yet not use it with all his might and mind.

Mostly , I cannot stop thinking of that person, the people, the roman soldiers and his dire devotees during the crucifixion. What was their thought process, state of mind, their hope etc.

One person who stood apart from all is Judas Iscariot. LORD Jesus had many disciples and followers active in ministry, yet he hand-picked and chose only 12 to be in his inner circle. Judas held the most important post – the treasurer. Imagine the kind of trust the group and Jesus had on him. (He was a miser and greedy which made him do his job well is a different story)

There could be many reasons to betray Jesus, but there is only reason NOT to that - JESUS.

Gospel explains in depth and length of Jesus’s GREAT LOVE. Still, he chose to betray him. Seriously, Betraying JESUS ??? Very thought of that sounds Ridiculous,..Impossible,...Terrible.

Today, things had not changed. It is the same. The Satan who tricked Judas is very much active and want to do the same to every believer and non-believer. Thank GOD, we have precious blood of Christ to safe guard us from every evil force.

Now to the topic

Why did Judas choose Kiss to betray Jesus?

Judas could have chosen many different things to betray Jesus. He could have just pointing him out from the distance or given the Jesus dress as his identification or described his looks or just come closer to hold his hand. He could have chosen a day time during their ministry travel.

He chose night time and most importantly he chose Kiss coz in those days Kiss was considered an act of submission, adoration, respect and surrender. Judas to cover the sinful thoughts, he chose the exaggerated act of love to betray.

Even today, any exaggeration of love comes with a price. A price of betrayal hurt. Victims of that hurt are countless in the world. Anything that is not right or abnormal or out of ordinary is from Satan.
Judas chose to Kiss the face not his hand or feet. Face has the most vital sensory organs. FACE is the index of a human body. A body without a face is considered null. Yes, Satan can come that close to that important aspect of our life the FACE and give us the most intriguing affection, a KISS may be.

Let us not take that KISS literally, yet it can be explained.

Eyes are the windows of our heart. It is also Door to our knowledge, mind and spirit. If you do not watch what you see and read, Satan has an easy access to your soul thru it. Porn, Violence, Gory movies or book, Don’t do it the first time. Mind is a crafty photo developer. It can develop, reprint, Photoshop and enhance in ways that you cant imagine.

Ears are the second eyes to our body. Watch what you hear. Gossips, stories, slander and lies have an impact in our life and in action. A Child that lacks hearing ability cant speak well. What you hear is what you will tell one day. If you want to safe guard your mouth. Watch what you hear.

Mouth – the most important sensory organ of human body. It can deliver the most powerful weapon. WORDS. WORDS can bring peace or war. Every leader is a great Orator. E.g. Jesus spoke in parables. Without words, a path or life is lost. Watch what you speak. Hurtful words spoken recklessly cannot be undone.

Nose – the sensory organ which can take you up to the place in past, in an invisible time machine. Yes, the smell of flower, a place, a person gets recorded in your mind with the happenings of that moment. The same smell at the later age would transport you to that memory lane. So be careful about your whereabouts and what you smell. We don’t want bad old tapes playing at wrong times of our life taking us for a guilt trip.

Most importantly what we understand here is that, even Jesus who is filled and lead by GOD can encounter Satan at a closer proximity. Who are we then? If we are wiser about our 6 senses like Bible says we can save ourselves from Satan Kiss.

How can we tackle that kiss?

Jesus teaches us something here:


Obedience: Jesus knew it is Judas who is going to betray. He also knew that is the plan of GOD. He decide to rely on GOD than his power of his wisdom or might. He decide to heed to the LORD. He surrender to the LORD. It is not too late, when things go out of our hands. When you get kissed, give it up to GOD and wait. Watch him deliver you.

Patience: He showed love and patience even at the critical juncture. When Peter rebuked him 3 times, all he wanted to do was to turn and look at Peter. Not Condemn him with a frown or a "I told You" mock.When the Soldier ears were cut by his disciple all he did was healing and restoring it. While he was accused and beaten for preaching love and grace, all he did was to endure it

Forgiveness: While he hung on the cross, when one of the robber mocked him and other asked for forgiveness. He immediately rendered forgiveness and eternal life to the repenting robber and to the other, he said nothing. No condemnation, nothing. At the cross, he prayed to the father and asked for the forgiveness for all of the people who ignorantly nailed him to the cross. He gave freedom to our sins, but he also went to heaven free of grudge showing a exemplary life a human can live in this world.

What a role model to rely on! Hallelujah, Glad we have Jesus in our life!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ten Virgins awaiting the Bridegroom - The Parable

Jesus Christ is the ALL TIME favorite and an interesting teacher of Kingdom Of GOD without a dispute. Is n’t why we praise him Our Head Preacher, Rabbi, Our Good Shepherd!

His methodology of teaching using Parable is the most admired the effective, efficient and preferable method of teaching even after 2000 years. Case studies concept used by Business Management schools definitely gets the root from here. As we rave about his method of teaching, His parables themselves are treasures of wisdom for us to draw from.  Each parable has this great potential to make us to ponder and pray for days.

In one of such attempts by ASK prayer team, comes my contribution of Holy Spirit inspired understanding of “The Parable of 10 Virgins”. (Watch out this space for other ASK Sister’s pondering on different parables)

Mathew 25:1-13
Parable of Ten Virgins
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour

Let us go line by line (or word by word) and decipher the meaning or Should I say read between lines of the parable. J

Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins
1.   Lord picks up the example of Virgins for a reason.
Who are Virgins?
Virgins are Pure, Kept aside for a specific Bridegroom. They are analyzed and handpicked.  They are “THE CHOSEN”. Here Lord by meaning Virgins is talking about the GOD’s people, His Church, His Chosen Ones.  They are not the wicked world he is referring to.

Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins
2.   Notice the number 10 called out. This quoting of the number has significance which we will learn later part of the parable.

who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
3.   Goal and Purpose – They took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom.
a.   What Lamp mean here? Verses can help us understand that.
                                         i.    Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
                                       ii.    Luke 11:34: The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.
                                   iii.    2 Samuel 22:29 :“For You are my lamp, O Lord; And the Lord illumines my darkness.
That is right, these Godly people – the chosen ones is very well aware of GOD’s word. The LAMP
b.   Purpose – To meet the Bridegroom. i.e To meet Jesus face to face

Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.
4.   Characteristic of the Chosen ones.
 GOD chooses people of all kinds, all races and all back grounds for his Kingdom. Yet in his eyes there are only 2 major divisions, Foolish and Prudent.
a.   Dictionary meaning of Prudent is Wise, Sensible, Cautious and Careful. That falls in 50% of them.
b.   The other 50% is NOT prudent, the antonym of Prudent is Reckless, Careless etc. This means that they are not Fools or Ignorant or Illiterate. They know absolutely know what is right and wrong, They know the word of GOD. They are just too lazy to apply and have too many things in life to mind than the word of GOD.
c.     Notice that it is 50% of them. That is quite scary.

For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them
5.   Foolish Virgin took NO OIL
a.   Oil represents "Anointing of HOLY SPIRIT". We read in multiple places in THE HOLY BIBLE where Oil has been called out
                                         i.    Exodus 40:9 ESV :“Then you shall take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture, so that it may become holy.
Consecration meaning - sanctification of something by setting it apart (usually with religious rites) as dedicated to God.
                                       ii.    Psalm 23: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. ...
                                     iii.    And you shall make of these sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be holy anointing oil.
                                     iv.    The Lord said to Moses, “Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane, and 500 of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hint of olive oil. And you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil.
b.   Hence NO OIL says that 50% of the GOD chosen ones fails to live a HOLY SPIRIT filled life
                        i.    9 Fruit of Holy spirit is not their attribute of life
                                       ii.    Holy Spirit filled prayer is missing
                                     iii.   Holy Spirit Counsel and Lead is not sought.

but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 
6.  50% of the GODLY people live a Holy Spirit filled life for HIS glory.

Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep
7.   Two Points are to be noted His coming is getting delayed. There is a response to that delay from the GOD’s people
HIS Delay:
a.   His coming is near but many people need to hear his good news. So it will look as if his coming is delayed ( 2 Peter 3: 3-10)
Our Response
b.   Our response to his delay is to be to Prep us more not to get relaxed and back slide for his coming is for Sure to happen. 

In winter the nights are long. We can sleep a bit more in the bed, fooling ourselves it is not morning yet. But the clock is ticking. Unless you are up on time, your chores and your work life is going to be stressful that day. We are not teenager in Christ to not know this.

But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 
8.   Rapture Call
                                         i.    Remember what Jesus says about his coming.(I come as a thief in verse)
                                       ii.    Rapture call (Pre tribulations, Mid Tribulation and Post Tribulation)
Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
9.    ALL THE VIRGINS arose and trimmed their lamps
a.   This tells that the secret coming of Jesus is made to known ALL Virgins i.e. ALL GODLY people be it they are Prudent or not, they are prepared or not.
b.   Trimming their lamps – And all of them started to get prepared to meet the LORD.

The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.
10.What happened when 5 foolish virgins trimmed their lamp – There was no much sanctification and anointing in them that they cant get to the presence of the GOD
a.   But they saw the Prudent Virgins being fine. So they “FOOLISHLY” asked for their oil.
b.   Many times we get content and satisfaction just by being part of a body that leads a righteous and god fearing life like your family, your friend’s circle, your church or even your Nation. That can only help you with your spiritual growth and sustainability. But we are responsible for our soul, for our faith and for our sanctification. Other’s anointing can be a blessing to you but cannot be manifested in your life without your anointing. That’s why the Wise asked to get the Foolish Virgins their own oil.

And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut

11.Those who went for the wedding feast
a.   Those who were ready went in with him - Interesting Point to note: Count of the virgins is not given. It simply says “those who were ready went in with him”. We do not know if all of the 5 wise virgins went with the Bridegroom. It is subtle and left for us to understand.
b.   Wedding Feast – Celebration is the essence of wedding. When we meet our LORD the bride groom of our faith. There is much celebration. There is laughter. There is abundance. There is bounty. There is rejoicing.

But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 
12.answers I do not know you –
a.   LORD is not giving a rude answer to those folks who were foolish. Read that sentence you will know that the Compassionate and merciful lord is actually explaining to them. “I am sorry. You must be mistaken. I do not know you”. He says You are not related to me. Thanks to Pastor Michele whom I shared this post before getting this online and she pointed out. Greek version of it say “I do not know” in the meaning of “ I do not know you intimately”. Bride and Bride groom know each other intimately. They know their inside out of their heart, their thoughts and feelings. LORD brings that out here.
b.   LORD is looking for constant communication, a communion of love and worship, a holy spirit directed fellowship. He would not remember others because he truly DO NOT know them to invite them to his house. Ask yourself, will you invite a stranger to your home?

Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour
13.Be on alert , for you do not know the day nor the hour – (granularity of his coming time)
a.   His coming could be any moment, a nick of second. We have to be prepared as if you are awaiting your wedding.

This Parable fits so well for ladies as it brings back the memories of that waiting time before the marriage. We spend the time before our wedding grooming our self, watching our diet, changing our daily schedule to talk and spend time with our sweet heart. We are in so much love that we would anything for him. We would do anything to appease, please and be in his good books.

Well, now for most us the Honey moon is over and reality would have hit us hard. But Jesus tells here, if we can make that kind of life for the LORD. Sanctifying our self, watch what we speak and we act, constantly have him in our thoughts, set aside time for him and be his Bride…The Bridegroom is ours! It is not all that hard, if we give our heart he will make it his.

My prayer is that every soul who reads this post give their heart to Christ and he will make them their bride and so he will take them to the banquet awaiting in LORD’s mansion! Amen! Amen! Amen!