26:14. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
26:15 and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
26:16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.
Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, Passover lamb, because of these reasons
- Judas Iscariot joined false fellowship that was not according to the true teaching.
- Judas Iscariot did not surrender to the Lord but kept his sin, namely the lust of money, so he sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
Judas Iscariot always sought opportunity to betray Jesus, to sell Him [Matthew 26:16].
For not being a traitor, we have to use good opportunity to surrender to Jesus in our daily life as follows
- Using the good opportunity to be saved.
19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
19:23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
19:24 "And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
19:25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Jesus faced an Israel man who was rich and good but he was bound by sin, namely the lust of money. He did not want to use the good opportunity for being delivered from sin.
Consequently, he was sorrowful, hopeless, and disappointed, even he left Jesus and perished.
He was in total failure although being in the midst of success because of keeping sin.
He was one of the Israelites, God's chosen people.
We have to take the lesson from the story above that we have to be delivered from sin for being saved and not perished.
16:27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.
16:28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here."
16:29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
16:30 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
16:31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
16:32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
16:34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
Paul faced a Gentile having a good position as the keeper of the prison. He was successful but bound by the sins of Gentiles.
Consequently, he wanted to kill himself, became hopeless, disappointed, and perished or not saved. A Gentile keeping sins will be meaningless.
It is different with the Israel man in the story above who rejected the opportunity for being saved offered by Jesus. The Gentile man was willing to use the good opportunity for being saved that is only as a small needle hole.
The process of being saved is as follows:
- Believing or having faith in Jesus through hearing the Word of God.
The time we hear the Word is the time we use the good opportunity that is only as a small needle hole for being saved, not perished.
Thus, the time of hearing the Word determines whether we are SAVED or PERISHED.
All of our success in the world will become meaningless if we perish.
- Being baptized of water and Holy Spirit.
We are renewed from water and Holy Spirit, so we have new life, namely life in righteousness.
We have to use the opportunity to live in righteousness wherever we are. It equals to using the opportunity for being saved that is as a small needle hole.
All members of a household will be saved if there is a member of the household wants to use the opportunity for being saved that is only as a needle hole.
- Using the good opportunity for being shepherded.
15:21. Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
15:22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed."
15:23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries out after us."
15:24 But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
15:25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"
15:26 But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."
The sheep of God are only Israelites, His chosen people. The Gentiles are only as dogs and swine or Satan that will be perished forever.
Whoever the Gentiles are, how great we are, we are only as dogs and swine, which are the dwelling place of Satan, so there is only destruction in marriage and children up to the perdition.
Actually, Jesus came as a Shepherd only for seeking the lost sheep of Israelites but the chance was opened for the Gentiles to become His sheep because a part of the Israelites rejected Him.
15:27 And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
15:28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
The Gentile woman used the good opportunity to eat the crumbs, referring to the true teaching Word and Holy Communion.
The true teaching Word and Holy Communion will sanctify the Gentiles from the sinsso we can become the sheep of God.
The sins of the Gentiles are as follows:
- Dog licking its vomit means vain saying or corrupt words.
- Swine wallowing in the mire refers to sinful deeds up to the peak, namely eating, drinking sin and marrying and being given in marriage.
- Anxiety, that is worrying about daily life and future life.
6:31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
6:32 "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Consequently, one becomes unfaithful and disobedient; not being able to live in righteousness.
The anxiety will make one use a little opportunity to be unrighteous.
If we are sanctified from the characteristics of the Gentiles, we will become the shepherded sheep of God.
The requirements of being shepherded are as follows:
- Entering the sheepfold.
In Tabernacle, the sheepfold refers to the Holy Place, in which there are three objects referring to perseverance in doing three main services.
- Being obedient to the shepherding Word. Do not hear strange voice!
The strange voice turns our purpose in following the Lord until we go astray.
The strange voice also refers to gossips none may be responsible of.
Do not blame the pastor if someone becomes a traitor. The pastor of Judas Iscariot was Jesus Himself but he still betrayed Him.
Being obedient equals to lifting up our hand to God, and He will stretch His hand to us and lead us to the right direction, namely to New Jerusalem.
7:17 "for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
The hand of Chief Shepherd will also lead us to beautiful and joyful future life in heavenly satisfaction and joy, up to New Jerusalem.
- Using the good opportunity to enter the ministry of building Christ's body.
Actually, only the Israelites from the tribe of Levi may minister God in the temple and the Gentiles may not.
2:19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
2:20 Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"
2:21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
The Lord said to destroy the physical temple to be replaced with the spiritual one because of these reasons:
- The physical temple cannot hold the glory of God because of being conquered by the spirit of selling and buying as if a marketplace.
- To make the Gentiles able to minister God through the building of spiritual temple of God.
It took three days to turn from the physical temple to the spiritual one, referring to Christ's sacrificeor the mercy of God.
It is only the mercy of God through the blood of Jesus if the Gentiles can minister Him. Therefore, the Gentiles have to use the good opportunity that is as a needle hole for ministering in building Christ's body.
4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
4:12 for the equipping of the saintsfor the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
The requirements of ministering in building Christ's body are as follows:
- Living in holiness.
- Having priests' offices and the gifts of Holy Spirit.
We have to sacrifice all things for the ministry of building Chris's body except one thing, namely the true teaching Word.
Ministering in building Christ's body equals to placing Jesus as the Head on our life; we have relationship of body and the Head or the relationship of bride and the Bridegroom, namely the relationship in perfect love nothing may slightly move.
The result will be real as follows:
- Jesus' love saves us or makes the wind and wave of the storm in the world still.
5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
It means as follows:
- Jesus' love gives us peace and quietness in the middle of storms in the world.
- Jesus' love makes us not sink in the sea of the world, so we can reach the haven of New Jerusalem.
It is especially to make us not sink in sins.
- Jesus' love nourishes and cherishes us.
5:28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
It is as a hen covering its chicks with its two wings.
The meanings are as follows:
- Jesus' love is able to preserve us in the midst of many difficulties and powerlessness in the world.
- Jesus' love is able to protect us from all disasters.
- Jesus' love makes us warm, unites, and makes us joyful.
- Jesus' love cleanses us doubly, through the baptism of water and of the true teaching Word.
5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
5:27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.
The Gentiles like to keep the sinful characteristics as an Ethiopian, whose skin is black. They like repeating sins until being as antichrist (leopard). The Gentiles also have many prides causing arrogance, disobedience, and resistance to God.
Fortunately, we will be sanctified and perfected if we want to be cleansed doubly, until we become the Bride of God who is blameless. It is the greatest miracle. The physical miracle will happen if the spiritual one happens.
Jesus' love erases all impossibilities.
God blesses you.