I can say that Jesus being King is not the first thing that pops into my head when I think of the nativity scene at Christmas.
I tend to think instead of how amazing it is that God has somehow miraculously put on skin and entered our world as a tiny, helpless baby. And I picture Mary and wonder just what her thoughts were that night He was born. She had to be exhausted, yet somehow I just bet she was so filled with wonder and awe that God had chosen her, of all people in history, to be this special baby’s mother. And of course there’s Joseph… I imagine that he is just relieved that the baby arrived safely and that Mary is ok, too.
But did they see this little one that they had swaddled up tightly and placed in a feeding trough as King?
Even in such an unlikely setting as a stable, surely they had an idea. The angel Gabriel had described Jesus to Mary in a way that would certainly cause her to envision Him as one day becoming a king:
But if Mary and Joseph were like most of God’s followers at the time, they were probably expecting an earthly king, similar to their beloved King David, who would someday, they hoped, rescue them from Roman rule.
This baby Jesus certainly is King as all the prophecies foretold, but God had another plan for what type of King He would be.
Instead of setting up His rule merely on earth as some hoped, He is instead the King over all the kings of every nation, not just Israel.
As Creator of the world, He is the ultimate authority, over the entire universe.
And as the only Sovereign, the ultimate ruler, all must give account to Him for their lives.
As a believer in Christ and one who loves this King, I hear these powerful truths about Jesus’ Kingship and I read the corresponding verses, and my heart shouts: Hallelujah!! Yes!! Amen!! He is King!!
But I must admit that my darker side, the one that is mainly all about me & my rights & my pleasures… resists.
I don’t want to submit.
I actually want to rule… over my own life, my child’s life, and even my husband’s life.
And sadly, when I go my own way, it turns out for me just like Proverbs says it will: badly, worse than I ever expected it to go.
When I find myself like this, I realize that I am somehow believing wrongly about the character of King Jesus.
We automatically believe that He must be a ruler who is harsh, severe or unconcerned with our best interest. It will be “off with my head” before I can even turn around.
But this is not Jesus. He is a kind King, one that leads with love and wisdom. His throne is a throne of grace.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
Mary and Joseph may not have fully understood it all in their lifetimes, but we now know that the baby in the manger is the eternal King. My prayer is that you and I will believe that King Jesus is good, that He is worthy to be trusted and is One that we can submit to willingly, even gladly with every area of our lives.