Christ the King!
[What makes a King?]
Isaiah 9v1-7; Matthew 2v1-12.
We read in Isaiah 9 that the coming Messiah would be a prince and have a throne.
We read in Matthew 2 that the Wise men came looking for the King of the Jews.
Many of the carols refer to Christ the King – “Glory to the new-born king”
We talk about Jesus as KING. We talk about the king / Queen of England.
What is a king or queen? Why is EIIR Queen of England?!!
Is she the best person in England?
Is she the cleverest?
Is she the prettiest?
What makes a person a King or Queen??
Let’s compare an earthly King of Queen to King Jesus!!
Elizabeth II is Queen because she was the first in line of succession to the throne. Her father was the King. She did not choose to be Queen – she could have choosen not to be.
I could not choose to be king nor could any of you – because it is not our right to choose.
Jesus had the right perantage on two counts – His earthly parentage can be traced back to King David. That was the promised – that he would reign on the throne of his father David. That is why He was born in Bethlehem – because Joseph and Mary had gone there register as they were from the line of David.
BUT he is also KING because his Father in Heaven is King.
Ps.2v7 “You are my son
today I have begotten you.”
Jesus was not only King of the Jews BUT also King of the whole universe:-
God has placed all things under His feet
and appointed him Head (King) over everything [Eph.1v22]
1.2 Willingness to fulfill responsibility.
Being Queen of England is not all glitz and glamour – she has lots of privileges but she also has lots of responsibilities. She cannot do as she pleases. She cannot put on a pair or jeans and a T-shirt and walk down Oxford street.
She could have abdicated but she did not.
Jesus, in a similar way, did not abdicate any responsiblity – He knew who he was, he knew why he had come to earth and he willingly fulfilled all that was required of him.
He was born to be the Saviour of the world and he fulfilled his task perfectly.
1.3 A realm over which to reign.
Every King or Queen has a territory or people to rule over. If some people don’t acknowledge their rule that doesn’t lessen the position of the sovereign.
ILLUS.: If I am an anti-royalist and think that there should not be a Queen. And there are people in England who would be happier if there was no Queen – that doesn’t for one minute change the fact that Elizabeth II is Queen.
In a similar way if people don’t recognise Jesus Christ and Lord and King – if some deny his existence or the existence of God that doesn’t for a minute change that fact that He is KING.
ILLUS.: 500 years ago people believed the earth was flat – was it? NO! Has it ever been? NO!!
Believing the earth to be flat doesn’t make it flat. Simply because people don’t believe in Jesus as Lord and King doesn’t mean that he isn’t!
2. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AN EARTHLY KING AND KING JESUS.
2.1. Is the sovereign dependent on the people?
EIIR is dependent on the people to remain Queen. Her government is dependent on the people to remain in office. If in the future the people of Great Britian decided that they didn’t want a king or queen there would be very little the monarch could do to retain that position.
The POWER of the Queen is limited. Her power is dependeant on her supporters and subjects and advisers. Even in the days when the King/Queen of England had more power it was still true.
Not so with Jesus – his kingly power is not dependent upon us or any other creature. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him.
If people deny who Jesus is OR if they reject him OR ridicule him, that will not cause him to fall from power. He will not cease to be king because people don’t acknowledge him as such.
Millions throughout the world will be celebrating Christmas today. Thousands of stuffed turkeys, Christmas cakes, minces pies and bottles of wine with no thought for whose birth we are celebrating. Simply because millions of people ignore Jesus doesn’t in the slightest change who is and the power he has.
If the people reject and earthly king the king will eventually fall.
But if people reject the heavenly King – Jesus – ultimately they will fall.
Peter likens Jesus to a cornerstone or capstone of a building: [1Peter2v7-8]
“The stone the builders rejeted has
become the capstone”,
AND “A stone that causes men to stumble and
a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message.
Christmas is not just about shepherds and wisemen and a baby born in a stable.
It’s about God sending his Son into the world to bring salvation through him.
Rejecting him and his salvation results in the ultimate downfall of those who do so!! HIS POWER IS UNLIMITED!!
The Queen is dependent on her subjects in another way – for RESOURCES.
Her majesty’s government needs the resources of the people – taxes and skills – without us (the people) they and the queen would have little.
Jesus, on the other hand, does not need us or any other creature for his resources.
John, the Apostle, begins his gospel, not with a baby in Betlehem but with another view of Jesus who he refers to as the WORD.
In the beginning was the Word [Christ]
and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
Through Him all things were made;
without Him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life…… [Jn.1v1-4a]
HIS RESOURCES ARE UNLIMITED.
Another limit of an earthly King or Queen is TIME. Elizabeth II has had a long reign and she could go on for another 20 years BUT it will end. And in terms of history what is 50 – 60 years – very little. In terms of eternity it’s nothing.
With Jesus it is different – what have we read time and again in the Christmas story.
.. he will reign over the house of Israel forever,
his kingdom will never end! [Luke 1v33]
Why do we get so caught up in giving our lives to building little kingdoms for ourselves – being preoccupied with earthly things when earthly kingdoms and nations are here today and gone tomorrow.
ILLUS.: Manufacturers are always trying to convince us to buy their products – better quality – longer lasting – guarantees.
Jesus offers us something that is unrivalled in quality, 100% guaranteed and will last for ever. It is not something that is distant and unattainable.
2.1. Is the sovereign knowable?
With EIIR I know her in the sense that I know what she looks like. I know where she lives. I know who her family are BUT I do not know her and she certainly doesn’t know me.
ILLUS.: I can’t walk into the Queen’s bedroom and have a chat to her
She is in a different class – royalty and riches create social classes. Thus we talk about royals and commoners. We have different levels of royalty:- Kings and Queens, Dukes and Duchesses, Lords and Ladies, ……
ILLUS.: I said a momnt ago that I could not walk into the Queen’s bedromm and have a chat!! There are some people who can – they walk in and say “Hi! Mum!!”.
Her children and grand-children.
Jesus is not the kind of King that you can never get close to.
Because he became like us.
The Word [Christ] became flesh
and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory
of the one and only who came from
God the father, full of grace and truth.
Lit. “…. he came and pitched his tent among us …. ” He didn’t come and build a palace among us BUT he came and lived among us and was like us.
Thus being part of the kingdom of God is knowing Christ the King. Not as a distant sovereign but as a loving friend and Saviour. One whom we can know intimately and you knows us intimately. like a child knows her parents.We can’t know EIIR and she doesn’t know us BUT we can know the King of kings and he knows us.
… to ALL who receive him, to those who believe in his name
he gave the right to become children of God. [John 1v12]
Presupposes that we are not naturally children of God but have to become such by receiving and believing Jesus Christ. He came as a Baby to Bethlehem and later died on a cross so that you and I could know God and become part of his Kingdom. The king became like us so that we could become children of the King. That is the Christmas message!!