One the most troubling and heart braking passages of Scripture to me can be found 1 Samuel 8:1-9 where it states, “When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice. 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” Here we see Israel rejecting the very kingship of the Sovereign Lord and desiring for themselves a fallible man to rule over them, so they can be like all the other nations who had a man ruling over them. Israel had forgotten and forsaken all that the Lord had done for them and wanted a change in how things where run and God, being the great ruler that He is, gave them over to that desire to be like everyone else, which is the exact opposite of what He was calling them to be, Holy and set apart from the world. God urged Samuel to warned them what this king was going to be like if they were going to go forward with this, so Samuel warns the people in verses 10-18 of 1 Samuel 8 of all that God said this king was going to be. He was going to be a king defined by taking and not giving and yet through God’s counsel they did not heed it and they went forward anyway desiring to be ruled by man and not by God, so God gave them Saul. He was the best looking guy in all of Israel (1 Samuel 9:2) and he was filled insecurities and obedience issues that became detrimental to the kingdom in which he was chosen to lead, just as the Lord said it would happen and he wouldn’t be the only one. The Old Testament is then defined by kings who where labeled as men who either did what was evil in sight of the Lord or did what was right in sight of the Lord and I can assure the list of those kings who did evil in sight of the Lord greatly outnumbered those who did right in sight of the Lord. This cycle has been an epidemic since the beginning of our existence and all the more enforces the notion that man in the role of kingship is not meant to be governed by fallen man. History is defined by kings who’s only care was the advancement of their kingdom and not God’s and this all originates in the sinful heart of man where they want to operate independently from the governing wisdom and love of our Sovereign Lord who has always been king and just because we don’t want Him ruling over us does not stop Him being King over us we just simply live out our existence in a Kingdom far less glorious than His. So what does this have to do with Jesus? Everything! Jesus is not only fully God and fully man, but He is also the true King of the people of God. He was the man in which, Daniel saw in chapter 7:13-14, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” This is Jesus the King to come in which Daniel saw as the rightful heir to the heart of men. God sent His only Son to not only do away with our sin, but to do away with us being Lord of our lives. He was different than all the kings before and there will never be king like Him to come. He is the faithful and just king who rules over everything and He did it in away that was completely unconventional to the human way understanding. He humbled himself. Here we will look at how this king humbled Himself and how the Bible clearly states that He is our true King and He will not share that title with no one. The Lamb is worthy of His suffering I pray that we honor Him as king and not be like the people of Israel who want someone else to rule them I can assure that only the kingship of Jesus will truly satisfy your soul.
The Manger Throne
His Eternal Kingdom
Jesus referenced the “Kingdom of God” many times in the New Testament and even once at the beginning of Acts when He is leaving the earth to be with the Father. He was constantly reiterating the importance of the Kingdom of God, in fact His very first sermon was in Matthew 4:17 where He preached, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” You would see these terms interchangeably throughout the Gospels if the “Kingdom of God” is mentioned it is almost always synonymous with the “Kingdom of Heaven” implying that the Kingdom Jesus speaks of is a supernatural Kingdom that’s not of this world, which would verify the account in John 19:36 where Jesus answers Pontius Pilate at His crucifixion, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” So the Kingdom that Jesus speaks of is undoubtedly not of this world, so the question remains however, “Is this Kingdom of God Jesus speaks of eternal or does it have a end?” Daniel 7:14 makes it very clear that this Kingdom of God that Jesus speaks of is a everlasting Kingdom that can not be destroyed implying that is on going and doesn’t have a end. Psalm 145:13 says, “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.” The kingdom that Jesus is calling us to repent to is an eternal kingdom where God reigns for eternity and endures throughout all generations.
So what does this mean for us?
If this is an eternal kingdom it has some serious implications for those who become recipients or rejecters to this command Jesus is making in Matthew 4:17. It means one that we are eternal beings and this world is not our home (Philippians 3:20), because each of us are destined to taste death and in order for our existence to dwell in this kingdom He speaks of we must repent (to turn; surrender). Repent of what? Sin (missing the mark of God’s standard). We confess our sin and believe that He is Lord and the Kingdom that is everlasting where He is we will enjoy with Him for all eternity, because His Kingdom is eternal. However, if the eternal Kingdom is not confessed or received that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord eternity will still be spent still in the Kingdom of God (the misconception where the Devil rules hell is a myth, God rules it. It is just like the Devil to claim kingship even in his own demise) just not in the Kingdom of Heaven, but rather in Hell where the full wrath of God’s displeasure for sin will be. So, what Jesus proposes in being a part of the eternal Kingdom of God carries tremendous weight and should not be taken lightly and we should really listen to what Jesus has to say on the matter. We must also realize if Jesus is declaring a Kingdom their must in fact be a King. Well who is this King of the Kingdom of God? Simple…God. It is called the Kingdom of God meaning it belongs and is ruled by God. The hypostatic union of Christ clearly indicates that Jesus is both fully God and fully man concentrated into one person that person being Jesus Christ (John 1). If Jesus Christ is God that would give Him the right to being the King of the Kingdom of God (Hebrews 1:3). If Jesus is King then it means he must be obeyed and must be worshipped as King.
If He is King, why did He run away from the people when they wanted to make Him King?
After Jesus feeds the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish He then is confronted with a coronation crisis, John 6:15 gives the account, “Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.” One the main perceptions of the Messiah from the Jewish standpoint was that He was going to be the liberator from Rome and all the oppression that they were enduring, but that’s not the kingdom in which He came to bring, if it was it would be like every other man that has come before him. Jesus is not like man, nor is His kingdom like any that have come before Him. Jesus said in Luke 13:18-19, “He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” Jesus described this Kingdom that had a small beginning, but would one day be a tree where many birds would come to rest. I could not help think of the dream Nebuchadnezzar had in Daniel 4:11-12 of a great tree. “The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.” If you go on to read the vision a watcher, a holy one of heaven, came down to proclaim that tree must be chopped down and all that dwelt in it and under would be scattered. Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was not eternal, but Jesus, the true king, is and He has come to gather all people to the tree of life, which is Himself, so all may rest under and in the shade of His sovereign rule. That little mustard seed that laid in a manger would, one day, be a mighty tree that would sit on the throne of the kingdom of men and rule them with the scepter of joy that was raised for all men to enjoy. You see the people wanted Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom not God’s. They didn’t want their King to suffer, but they wanted to usurp His power to free them from physical bondage and not spiritual bondage. Jesus rebukes Peter for this very train of thinking in Matthew 16:21-23, “ From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Peter had a faulty view of who the Messiah was going to be and I believe with all my heart it is why Judas betrayed Jesus, because Jesus wasn’t lining up with what he thought He was going to be. Jesus wasn’t running from being the their king He was running from beginning the king they wanted him to be. He ran to the mountains to the Father and spent time with Him, because He wanted to be the King His Father wanted Him to be and not only that the time had not come for Him to reveal himself yet and to suffer. He had to suffer and that’s what makes Him different from all the other kings before Him.
If He is not the King they wanted Him to be then what kind of King is He in this eternal Kingdom of His?
He is the Humble King
-Philippians 2:5-8 tells us, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Paul reminds us here that Christ humbled Himself by coming to us in the likeness of man and though being in the form of God He came in the form of servant and didn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped. There is no greater act of humility than this. God the author of all life and gives breath to all came as a baby and was limited to breathing. He didn’t come into a palace, but in fact left His own to be laid in a feeding trough. The entire world didn’t have Him as their top news story to celebrate Him; in fact King Herod wanted to kill Him (Matt. 2:16). He didn’t have a place to even put His head sometimes (Matt. 8:20). He washed his own disciple’s feet (John 13). He was a humble king who deserved so much more than what we gave Him, but forsakes it all to walk amongst His people in whom He loved. Jesus deserved so much more than what we gave Him. He was not governed by the pride to flaunt Himself, but He humbled Himself by putting others before Himself. This is the true King and His name is Jesus. He loved us and we crucified the King of Kings who at the swift whisper of his voice can have Legion’s of angels to descend upon us to execute His judgments (Matt. 26:53), but restrains himself and gives grace and truth instead (John 1:17).
He is the Giving King
-I’m reminded of something Napoleon Bonaparte said once, “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him. ” As I explained earlier of what God said the king would be like if you were to choose him over me he would be defined as a king that takes not as a king who gives (1 Samuel 8:10-18). Jesus’ life was not defined by what He took, but what He gave. Acts 20:35 reminds us that it is better to give than receive and Jesus embodied that completely. He never turned anyone away not matter how tried he was (Luke 4:40). He, also, fellowshipped with the lowest of lows (John 4) by ministering to the ones no one wanted to minister to. He was the true light giving light to everyone (John 1:9) and those willing to believe that He was the Son of God He was going to give them the right to be called sons and daughters of the living God (John 1:12). There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus, the true King, was defined by giving, so much so that He gave life that all may live. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” and just like Napoleon said he truly built his kingdom on love by giving, not taking. John 15:13 reminds us of this love, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” What be it to us that we should be called friends of the King of Kings? Jesus then reminds us in the very next verse that His friends are the ones that keep His commandments (John 15:14). If commands are given is He not truly the King? I can’t not imagine pledging my life and service to no one greater than this, because there is no one greater than our loving and giving King Jesus.
He is the Living King
Like all kings before they die and have a predecessor to follow them to continue their reign amongst the people, not Jesus. Jesus had no predecessor, there was not one coming after Him for His birthright would not permit it. If Jesus remained in the grave we are to be like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “pitied above all people“. If Jesus remained in the grave we should look for another king, because He was just a man and not the true king we are looking for, but this is not the case brothers and sisters we serve a risen living King who faced our greatest foe, Death, and slayed him that we might find life in Him. We do not serve a defeated King, but a living, triumphant King, who is unconquered by the principalities and darkness’s of this world (John 16:33). This is much to rejoice in and this truth alone sets Jesus apart from all the other kings that have come before Him and we have no need to fear, because we serve a living King who gives life to all who call upon His name. Isaiah 25:6-8 says, “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.”
Not only is Jesus the trustworthy King He is completely the sovereign King and in control of all things, so we need not fear for He is the good King and rules wisely and lovingly from His throne.
His Sovereign Rule
All created things are subject to His Sovereign Rule
There are multiple accounts of Jesus performing supernatural feats that baffle the mind and reverence the heart. It is undeniable through these accounts in Scripture that Jesus unequivocally subjects all things through His Sovereign Words. Matthew 8:23-27 states, “And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” Here we see that the winds and sea obey Him. If He was not King and Creator of all why would they obey Him? We even see Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-23). The natural properties that would obviously consume us or sink us flee from their intended purpose before Him, because they are subjected to Him. Jesus, also, took five loaves and 2 fish and fed the multitudes (Mark 6:30-44). There is no denying Jesus authority of this world we live in. This should encourage us that no storm can overcome us and that He is always providing for His children, because creation is subject to Him and through Him, not the other way around (Colossians 1:16).
All infirmities are subject to the sound of His name and gentleness of His touch
Jesus not only had sovereign rule over created things, but He, also, had dominion over every infirmity and disease that is produced from the fall of man. In John 4:49-53 tells us that Jesus healed a centurions son simply by speaking words for him to live and he did. He told the man in John 5 who had been lame for 38 years to get up and walk and he did. Not only did He speak life and the infirmities fled He, also, reached out His hands to wash away those diseases as well. In John 9 there was a man born blind and Jesus spit in the ground and made salvia and anointed his eyes and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. Mark 1:40-42 tells us, “And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.” Jesus was compassionate and cared deeply for His creation that was suffering from the brokenness of sin in the physical bodies. Sin is not sovereign over God nor does it subject Jesus to its power. God is sovereign over sin and subjects sin to His power. No infirmity is too great for our King to overcome and He has the power to end it, but we must also remember He has the power to sustain us through it if he chooses not to relieve it and if it remains we can trust in His infinite wisdom and we know one day He will speak and wipe away the effects of sin from our mortal bodies by clothing us in the immorality of the Son.
All principalities and darkness’s of this world are subject to the power of His might
Matthew 8:28-32 tells us a story that goes like this, “And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31 And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 32 And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.” These demons reconginzed he was the Son of God the true living King and they “begged” Jesus to cast them out to the swine. Now if your superior your not begging. Jesus is clearly the dominant and superior one on the scene. He simply mentioned the word “Go” and they went. We must always remember that Jesus is superior in everyway and is never subject to the things He created, especially to those who are in opposition to His throne. We do not have to live in fear of their power, but rejoice in the strength of His might. He is greater and He is our King who still fights for us and is not bested by the kingdom of darkness.
All people are subject to His Sovereign Rule
There is an amazing thing that happens at the birth of Christ where God brings worshippers from all around to His manger throne. Shepherds are the first to arrive on the scene. These are the lowliest of lows during that time and they came to bow before the Prince of Peace. To me they symbolized Israel, because they obviously had to be Jews who where tending sheep. He was going to make Israel recognize His coming and that He was their Good Shepherd, not only that He had Magi from other countries to come later and bow down before Him and honor Him as King (Gentiles). So we see at His manger throne Jesus has got both Jews and Gentiles bowing beforing Him worshipping Him as the true King of all people. This is a great truth. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this truth in Romans 1:16 that salvation is “to Jew first; and also to the Greek.” much like what happened around the manger throne. The Shepherds came first then Gentiles came later. Isn’t this just like what our King has done to usher out His sovereign rule upon the earth. Did he not take 12 Jewish men of different professions and made them shepherds to His sheep that all nations may know of His sovereign rule? He did and we must do the same. Whether people realize it or not Jesus is the true King and demands all to acknowledge and bow before Him and He graciously gives this life on this side of eternity to do it, because it will be done by all one day. Philippians 2:9-11 remind us of that truth, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This why we must be like messenger John the Baptist who says in John 1:23, He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” We are messengers to the King telling the world of His coming Kingdom to unite all people under the glory of His sovereign rule that they may see and taste that the Lord is good.
Come into the King’s Court
I remember when Prince George was born to Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton the whole world tuned in to get a glimpse and join in the celebration of this life that has entered into the world, because this was the birth of royalty this was the next in line to be the king of England after his father William. There was not a news station or paper that didn’t have a covering of this event. Unless you lived under a rock everyone knew that Prince George was born. He would be brought into a world of extreme privilege and be destined to have influence over the nation in which he will one day govern. Typically, when a child is born they receive gifts to welcome them into this world. There was one gift in particular that stood out above the rest to me, it was a gift from Kenya’s Samburu people. They gave Prince George a fatted calf and goat. Unusual gift, but well received by Prince William and Duchess Kate. You see William stayed at the Lewa wildlife conservancy for awhile and was even the place where he purposed to Kate, so they knew the people well and where quite found of them. The fatted calf is very sacred to the Samburu people. To them they were meant for milk, not meat. They believed at one time the earth and sky were joined together, until they were suddenly torn apart with only wild fig trees between the two to bridge the way. As a gift, God, called EnKai, sent herds of cattle down to the earth through these trees to bless the people. I could not help, but think of our arrival of our King. A lot less glamorous than the arrival of Prince George. There where no news stories, lights, and fame just a manger and some Shepherds. Many would of thought that there is no way this could be the King, because kings don’t come like that, but nevertheless He was and just like the Father in Luke 15 who took the fatted calf and slayed it, because His wayward son had returned home, so did the Heavenly Father give the gift of His Son that He may slaughter Him for our sins so that we may celebrate Him as King and just as the high priest who took the scapegoat on the day of atonement and sent it to the wilderness to remind the people your sins have been cast just as far as the east is from the west (Lev. 16:21-22), so has our Heavenly Father took our sins and cast them just as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.”-Isaiah 53:7. This is the message the Samburu people need to hear that chasm between them and God was bridged by the cross of the true King and His name is Jesus. They need to know they are under His reign and and that He was given for them to live and join in the chorus with all the nations and heavens that Jesus Christ is Lord! We must remember this Christmas time that we come to honor this King with our hearts and lives by praising Him for all He has done and thanking Him for His faithful sovereign rule over His people and creation. Hopefully we have seen Him rightly through Scripture and trust me you don’t want Saul as your King you want Jesus, because only He can truly satisfy you.
“God has answered Satan’s shout of triumph with the baby’s cry.”-Jim Hamilton