Jesus: A King by Birth

We know the stories. A Kingdom has lost all of its royalty—be it by murderous intent or by lack of birth. The whole thing is in danger of collapsing. Suddenly, a living descendant to the throne is discovered, a king by birth, and he gets to rule as king.

But it’s impossible to see Jesus as King merely by lineage. After all, it wouldn’t be surprising that David had many descendants—especially if you go through Solomon who had access to a thousand women.

Jesus, out of all David’s descendants was born of God (Matt 1:18). That is, not some matter of genetic lineage,  but born at exactly when God wanted him to be born (Gal 4:4), sent from the very throne room of heaven (John 1) and born of a woman without the aid of man. His birth was heralded by angels (Luke 1:26-38) and expected by Israel as sung by Mary (Luke 1:46-55). Even his enemies would acknowledge that he is a King, even if they’re being ironic (John 19:19) but more so when they witness his death: surely, says one of the soldiers, this was the Son of God (Matt 27:54).

So we can’t see Jesus as coincidentally filling a role because he has the right lineage: it’s not possible. God was altogether involved in his inheritance and authority.

Jesus was born to be King.


Jesus: A Necessary King

We know that Israel received prophecies of a King. For example you have as early as Numbers 24:17 where Balaam prophesies, against his will, the coming of a King.

I see him, but not now;  I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

When I read it, it sounds like a King who is primarily local to that area. That’s not surprising. A prophecy given to a prophet in a specific area and situation; maybe he is given what he needs to know. Prophecy, after all, is not merely To Know Things but for building up, encouragement, comfort (1 Cor 14:3) and a call to repentance (1 Cor 14:24-25).

Therefore, you discover constant expectations of a King explicitly mentioned like in 2 Sam 7 or Psalms 2 as God laughs while his King is installed on Mount Zion or Psalms 45 where a king gets married.

This wasn’t a change in the plans of God.  It wasn’t like things had gone so bad that a King had to show up to clean house. After all, Deuteronomy 17, the very Law of God, has a built in section on how Israel is to choose their Kings and how those Kings are to act. Even if later history (as the book of Kings goes about showing) doesn’t work out according to blueprint, the fact is that the expectation of a King wasn’t a change: someone had to rule.

This goes back as far as Genesis 1. Adam was to function as a King over creation, ruling as God’s representative and with God’s prerogatives. Creation was given to him and his spouse to enjoy and to rule over (Gen 1:26). The fact Adam failed didn’t attest to the failure of The King Project, but it pointed to the expectation of a future King over all, like Adam, who would reign and, unlike Adam, not fail in the day of testing.

Therefore a King that is demarcated as glorious (Psalm 2:7-10), supreme (Psalm 89:27), who sits on the very throne of God (Rev 3:21) and reigns on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:7; Ezekiel 34) was a necessary expectation. There was no other way to put a fallen and rebellious creation back into the position it was supposed to be: under God’s righteous control.

Jesus was that expected King. He had to be king.


Jesus: King of Righteousness

While working through the book of Hebrews I’ve noted that the writer puts forth the point not only that Jesus is Priest (Heb 5), but that Jesus is King (Heb 1 and God and Man: Heb 2). He purposefully goes about looking at a historical figure, Melchizadek, who was both a king and a priest to illustrate the point (Heb 7:1-3). I will look at five aspects of Jesus as King and what it means to us.

We don’t have many kings today in the sense we often see in Scripture. Any kings that come into power in England don’t have any real power and when we look at Presidents or Prime Ministers, we have elected officials—be it by the people, by parties or by a Parliament.

In third world countries we might find these Kings that reign in power and their word has final say, but more often than not we think “tyrant” when we consider them.

Projecting backwards to understand Christ causes problems.

This examination  of Jesus as King during Christmas week will be in six parts: (1) A Necessary King; (2) A King by Birth; (3) A King Revealed; (4) A King’s Kingdom;  (5) A King Who Conquers; and  (6) What this all  means to us.

I can probably spend weeks on these points, but I want this to be not so much exhaustive but rather sweeping so as to underscore a fundamental aspect (though not The Fundamental Aspect) of our Gospel: Jesus Christ is King.


Prayer Mondays: O Holy Child of Bethlehem

Barring my faulty memory (and if I’m not lazy) I want to post prayers on Monday from all over Church History and then throughout the modern day, and then my own. This one comes from a very famous hymn by Philip Brooks.

O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emanuel! Amen.

christ pray

Prayer Mondays: An Advent Prayer

Barring my faulty memory (and if I’m not lazy) I want to post prayers on Monday from all over Church History and then throughout the modern day, and then my own. This one is an Advent prayer.