Summary: Shows that Christ is the King, to be sought, worshiped and served (part of an Advent series).
"Jesus the King: Advent 3, 2001"
December 16th, 2001
Matthew 2:1-12 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked the where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’"
Then Herod called the magi secretly and found out from the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Jesus is many things to many people. We have been exploring some of the many things that Jesus is to us as we have journeyed through the Advent Season this year. To the believer, Jesus is the Prophet of God, who came to tell us the words of God. He is our Great High Priest, who has come to bridge the gap between God and Man by offering the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Today we will look at another title for the babe who was born in Bethlehem: Jesus is our king.
This is a difficult title for us to understand. Even though the prophets made it clear that the Messiah was coming to be a king, his arrival in the form of Jesus Christ was completely unexpected. If you were looking for a king, you would not be looking for someone like Jesus. Who ever heard of a king being born to a peasant woman? Who would have guessed that the coming King would be born in a stable like an animal? Who could have imagined that the king would be a carpenter? This was not the kind of king that the world was used to. Kings are born of noble birth. They are born on silk sheets in fine palaces. They spend their childhood being trained by philosophers and warriors in the fine arts of governing and conquering.
Kings lead mighty armies: Jesus led a ragtag bunch of fishermen.
Kings ride on noble steeds: Jesus walked the dusty roads of Judea.
Kings are followed by lords and ladies: Jesus was followed by sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, and the sick.
Kings live in ornate castles: Jesus had no home to lay his head.
Kings wear fancy robes and jewels: Jesus had only one outfit, which was taken from him before he was killed.
Jesus does not strike you as the kind of king that the world expects. In fact, many of the scholars of Jesus’ time thought that there must be two Messiahs who were coming. The prophets made it clear that the Messiah would be a king, but they also made it clear that the Messiah would be humble and would suffer greatly. How can a king suffer in humility?
Did you ever wonder about the reaction of those Magi from the east? They saw the star of Jesus and knew that a King from heaven had come to the earth. They saw that it was rising above Israel, so they knew that the king of the Jews had been born. So, naturally they went to Jerusalem, the capital, heading for the palace of King Herod. They must have been surprised to find out that there had not been any new births in the castle; the king had not been born to King Herod. They must have been surprised as they asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." They knew that he had been born because the start led them there, but nobody seemed to know who or where the new king was.