JOHN 18:28-37 DECEMBER 25, 2016
“JESUS IS OUR KING”
Today we are celebrating the birth of our Lord! One might think it strange to read a scripture about the trial that led to the crucifixion of Jesus when we are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yet the death and the resurrection should always be taken into account in order for us to truly appreciate the full significance of God coming to earth and being born into this world.
During the Old Testament era, God provided three separate offices that spoke for God. We know these offices as prophet, priest, and king. We have examined how Jesus fulfilled the role of a prophet and a priest. Today we will look at how Jesus was and is our king.
Jesus being recognized as a king is seen most clearly at his birth and at his trial and subsequent crucifixion. King Herod was truly upset when the wise men arrived proclaiming the birth of a king. Herod was terrified that someone would try to replace him as king. This is why King Herod had all of the boy children killed under the age of two. Contrary to popular belief the star had first appeared at the time of his birth. The journey took a long time for the wise men to travel to Jerusalem in search of the newborn king which is why Herod gave orders for boys under the age of two to be slain.
During the ministry of Jesus, he spoke a great deal about the Kingdom of Heaven. The religious authorities were concerned about losing their place of importance and thus accused Jesus of being a rebel and wanting to become king. This is why Jesus was brought before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, and the only one who could have Jesus condemned and executed on the cross. Yet Jesus did not act like any radical revolutionary that Pilate had experienced. You can sense the skepticism in Pilate’s voice when he asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
John 18:36-37 (NIV) “36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” What did Jesus mean and why should we care about Jesus being a king? A king according to the dictionary is a sovereign, one who is the chief of state in a monarchy.
Jesus is our King. Notice that Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world.” Everyone who believes and trusts in Jesus and follows him is a part of the kingdom of heaven. Our first allegiance is to Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (NIV) “4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.”
Jesus is king in two ways:
First, Jesus is the Head of the church. He is the king, the ruler. He is the one we are to follow as a disciple until the day he calls us home to heaven. Colossians 1:18-20 (NIV) “18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Because Jesus died for us to save us from our sins, we are called to a life of obedience. Mark 8:34-35 (NIV) “34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” In speaking to the disciples he also stressed obedience. John 15:9-10 (NIV) 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” Since Jesus is our King we should obey him! Right?
Second, Jesus will return again to set up the new kingdom which began at his birth. Luke 1:32-33 (NIV) “32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” He will also come to judge the world. At that time he will assert his authority over all governments, people, and the earth. Revelation 1:4-8 (NIV) “4 Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. 7 Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
The world will never understand or accept Jesus as king until they are forced to bend the knee at his second coming. Nor will they understand our worship and adoration and our obedience to his Word. As we celebrate the birth of our King may our love deepen as we reflect on all that he did for us: from his birth, to his death, resurrection, and ascension. Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV) “9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” One day every knee will bow so may we might as well get into the practice of obedience to our Lord.
Let us pray.