Christ the King

Christ the King

Matthew 2:1-12

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews.”

 

            When the Magi arrived in Jerusalem, their simple question sent the city abuzz and caused Herod to become paranoid.  So fearful was Herod of the question that he would later have all the children in Bethlehem under the age of two savagely murdered.  For Herod, the question was unnerving and threatening, for it threatened his authority and position. The question was simple, “Where is He who who has been born King of the Jews?”  It is this question that equally threatens us as well. We find the story of a baby born in the manager appealing.  We relish the baby would come to be the sacrifice for our sins.  We even easily accept that he came as God came in the flesh to communicate God’s word.  But when confronted with a king, we shrink back.  For the people of Israel, they longed for a political king who would reestablish the glory of the nation of Israel.  But what they did not want, and what they found unacceptable, was that he would be the king of their lives.

            When we read that he was to be the king of the Jews, we are confronted with several questions:  What kind of king is he, and what is his kingdom?  The Jews wanted a national king, one to lead the nation. What they did not like was a personal king, one who would rule over their life.  They did not want a king who would make demands upon them.  However, to acknowledge that Christ is king is to admit that he must also have authority over our lives.  

            This brings us to the following question: what is his kingdom?  Christ came preaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand.  A kingdom is more than a political, national kingdom.  The kingdom of God refers to the sovereign rule of God over all the universe and all humanity.  Participating in his kingdom is acknowledging and surrendering to his sovereign rule of our life.  It is to live in submission to him so that he has precedence over everything else in our life.  The people rejected Christ as their king and demanded his death because of this claim.  They thought by putting Christ to death; they could alleviate this claim to be their private king.  By putting him to death, they were rejecting his authority over their life. They failed to recognize that when he returns, he will return as a king. In Revelation 19:11-19 we read of the return of Christ.  When he returns, he comes not just as the king of the Jews but as the ultimate king of all things in the universe.  He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  

            As we spend the next couple of days with family and friends, it is a time to celebrate Jesus's birth.  For many, Christmas is synonymous with love and family.  It is about setting aside our differences and finding new hope in love. In all the Christmas shows, if there is any mention of Christ's birth, it is almost always about his love and acceptance of us. Indeed, that is a valid and vital part of Christ.  But we often overlook and fail to recognize that the ultimate purpose of his coming was to bring salvation and forgiveness AND to establish his sovereign rule in our lives. To genuinely celebrate Christ, we must applaud his love and salvation and acknowledge and surrender to his sovereign rule in our lives.  The baby the wise men sought was not just the king of the Jews; he was the king of the whole universe and our lives.  The last question we must ask ourselves is, “Am I willing to surrender to Christ as my king?”

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