Every New Year comes with excitement of God’s blessings with renewed hope for a better future. Some have a new year’s resolution to live and eat more healthily. Others hope for a new job or a promotion at work. Some would want to be better parents, while others may simply want to be parents. Whatever you are hoping for, it is my prayer that Psalm 37:4 (Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart) will become your reality in 2021.
One of my prayers and desires for this year, is to walk more closely with Jesus and to be further transformed into his likeness. Reading through the Gospel of John, I was reminded of the importance of Paul’s teaching from Romans 12:2, where he said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”.
In John 12:1-8, we are told of how Jesus had visited Bethany and was at Mary and Martha’s house. As they ate, Mary broke the ‘alabaster flask’ and anointed Jesus. Upon seeing what had happened, Judas said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”. The passage then went on to state that, “He [Judas] said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it”.
Friends, Judas walked with Jesus for about three years. He saw great miracles done by the Lord. He saw the lame walking, the mute speaking, the blind seeing and even the dead raised back to life. He heard the teachings and parables of Jesus and was privileged to receive a private audience with Him. Judas had it all, yet even after three years he was still not transformed.
Judas enjoyed the company of Jesus. He enjoyed being seen as a religious person. He relished the praises from others as he was counted among the twelve disciples of Jesus the Messiah, or to some, the great young Rabbi. But Judas was following Jesus for the wrong reasons, and ultimately, his faith was not authentic.
Unlike Judas, this year let us not only bear the Christian badge but also walk in an authentic faith as we seek transformation from one glory to another.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!