Summary: This is a sermon that deal with Jesus being King of Our Lives - designed for Christ the King Sunday
Theme: Kingship of Christ
Title: Real King or Role Model?
Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ our Savior and LORD!
Today has been labeled "Christ the King Sunday". It is the last Sunday in what is commonly called the CHURCH CALENDAR YEAR. Now, the Church Calendar Year is a little different than our Secular Calendar Year (Gregorian Calendar). The Secular Calendar runs from January 1st to December 31st and then back to January 1st. The Church Calendar Year begins with the Advent Season and then runs through Lent/Easter/Pentecost and then back to Advent again.1
Next Sunday is the First Sunday of the Advent Season as we begin that wonderful journey towards the celebration of the Birth of Jesus our Savior and LORD. And so this Sunday is the last Sunday of the Year and has over the past few decades been celebrated as Christ the King Sunday.
We here in America have a rather dim view when it comes to the idea of King or Kingship. We tried it (kingship) a few times but didn't like it so we fought a war to never be under a king ever again. When we hear the word "king," one or two images usually come to mind:
+The first is that of some distant tyrant across the waters who mistreats and places heavy taxes and burdens on their people. We think of someone who is doing their best to get all they can out of the hard work of the people and who are living in some big palace somewhere having all their needs met while their subjects are breaking their backs barely making ends meet.
+The second image is that of a mere figurehead. A person who holds some traditional title but actually possess very little real power. They are good for some juicy social media stories, some cultural events and the occasional national picture but they have little to do with making laws or enforcing their personal will on the people.
One picture is therefore of a tyrant while the other picture is that of a figure head. One we don't want anything to do with the other is merely a role model at best.
For much of history, kings (and queens) have pretty much been a bust. For example, the two nations of Israel and Judah together had over 40 kings (42 kings and one queen) and yet the Bible tells us that only five of them could be considered to have been wise and righteous kings - King David, King Solomon, King Hezekiah, King Josiah and King Jehoshaphat.
Secular history has a rather sorry record as well. When historians look over the all the kings and queens and emperors over the time line the number of good rulers can usually be counted on one or two hands at the most. Most kings, queens and emperors proved to be arrogant, selfish and greedy more than they were loving, kind and generous. Only those like Queen Victoria of the UK, King Cyrus of Persia, Augustus Cesar of Rome and King Charlemagne of France and a handful of others have been viewed as more benevolent than they were cruel.
The prophet Samuel warned the young nation of Israel against the idea of even having a king. We can read the whole story in 1 Samuel chapter eight. The LORD GOD Himself warned Israel that having a human king was not a great idea and that in the end more times than not it would be disastrous. The LORD gives a whole list of reasons against the idea but in the end because of free will the LORD allowed Israel to pick a king and start the whole royal process.
And that is really where the rub lies. It is not in the idea of kingship, it has to do with the reality of fallen humanity. I mean, after all, when you read the Creation Story it sure looks like Adam and Eve were to be the King and Queen of the Garden of Eden. God Himself put everything under their authority. They had complete control.
So, the ability to be a great king is theoretically possible but because of humankind's sinful nature it usually doesn't work out to well. What should have been a simple thing because of our sin has not been so simple. There have been a multitude of kings who have started off well but in the end they end up being more like tyrants and dictators.
The reality is we only see one absolute benevolent king in all of history and literature. It is the LORD God Himself. In the story of the Exodus we read again and again how the only King the nation of Israel and in fact the world would ever need is God Himself.