The Return Of The King 2 — Treason
Chan Gin Kai
“But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don't want this man to be our king.'
‘But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them – bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”
(Luke 19:14 & 27)
Jesus told a parable about a nobleman who went to a distant country to be crowned, and returned to his land as king. In our last article, we learnt that the king expected to return, and he expected returns.
In the parable, some of the nobleman’s subjects didn’t really like him and tried to foil his efforts. When the nobleman became king, he executed these enemies.
Treason is the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill or overthrow the sovereign or government. It was a capital offence in many countries and still severely punished today. There is good reason for the punishment, treason can destabilise a country and tear it apart. That’s what some subjects in this parable tried to do, prevent the lawful coronation of a king.
The parable did not elaborate why these subjects hated the king and committed treason, but that’s beside the point. Every murderer or rapist, kidnapper or robber has their reasons for their crimes. We may even understand or sympathise with their reasons under some rare circumstances, but a crime is still a crime.
Regardless of the reason, a crime receives punishment. The same principle applies to sin.
But hypocrites that we are, we apply double standards — a stricter set for others, and a more lenient set for ourselves. How many times have I been annoyed by a dangerous driver and hoped that he gets caught? But at the same time, I grumble when I get the occasional speeding ticket. We somehow believe that the wrongs we do are justifiable.
We do the same to sins too. We judge the behaviour of others more harshly than we judge our own. We create excuses for our sins and believe that our wrongs are justifiable, or more forgivable. Instead of taking responsibility for our sins, we blame circumstances and others.
We even blame God.
It is incredibly ironic when we blame our righteous God for our sins, but yet I’ve done it many times. I’ve grumbled against God for the unfairness in the world. Why are the wicked successful while the righteous suffer? Why doesn’t God listen to my prayers? And so I act out in rebellion towards God, I choose to sin. I commit treason against the Almighty King.
You know what’s the biggest problem with our “why-do-the-righteous-suffer” gripe? It is our pride. We feel this “injustice” because we put ourselves in the category of the righteous who should be rewarded. Really, are we that righteous? And are we truly suffering? Why do we self-righteously consider ourselves better and more deserving of God’s blessings than others?
The problem is, we play down our sins. It is so easy to deceive ourselves... That’s not really a sin, it’s only a small sin, it’s a common sin, everyone sins, and it didn’t really hurt anyone.
When I reflect on my own heart, I realise that I have lost the eager and earnest attitude I had towards repentance when I was a younger Christian. I've allowed myself to lapse into complacency, resting in the comfort zone called, “I’m-not-that-bad.”
We commit spiritual treason when we reject Jesus as our King. We may claim to accept Jesus as our Lord, but do we submit to him, his law and his will on a daily basis? The reasons don’t matter; our sins deserve punishment.
Instead of complaining about not receiving the rewards we imagine we deserve, we should be grateful that we’ve not received the punishments we do deserve. It is only because Jesus bore our sins on the cross that we have been set free. He took the punishments for our treason towards God.
We profess with our mouths that God is our Almighty King. But do we obey His commands and His will for us?
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves actively in the Central Christian Church and describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.