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Advent 2016: Christ Was Born For This: Day 19

Christ the Perfect King

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Today's Text: John 18:37, Psalm 103:15-22, Zechariah 6:12-13, Matthew 2:1-6

Text: John 18:37, Psalm 103:15-22, Zechariah 6:12-13, Matthew 2:1-6

Christ came as the perfect King. He came with all authority in heaven and earth, but also in the humblest way imaginable—in a lowly manger, as a fragile baby. Yet He would command the demons and they would obey, He would speak to storms and they would still, He would touch the afflicted and they would be healed. Jesus’ life was an act of service, His death a display of humility, and His resurrection a demonstration of power unlike anything the world had ever seen.

My first experience with kings and kingdoms was Disney’s Robin Hood at age 5.

Prince John, a mane-less lion, was puny and greedy and insecure. His only friend was a snake, and his subjects suffered disease and poverty under his tyrannical taxing and dishonorable reign.

The movie comes to a blissful resolution with a wedding. Prince John is replaced by the true and better king, King Richard the Lionheart (an actual lion in the cartoon version of the movie). Finally home from the Crusades, King Richard takes the crown to restore his people and rule them with wisdom, generosity, and kindness.

The movie is a caricature of actual events in 12th century England, but 5-year-old Raechel simply saw the forest creatures of Nottingham aching for a true and better king to rule them. King Richard, for his 10 seconds of actual screen time, assured me that he would be all of that and more. “All hail King Richard!” the creatures chant, as Robin Hood and Maid Marian wed and ride off in their carriage to live happily ever after.

Legend tells us that the real King Richard was a full foot taller than his younger brother John, that he was handsome and had a great head of hair. (Everyone loves a great head of hair.) This, perhaps, is where King Richard and King Jesus differ. The prophet Isaiah tells us about our King:

“He didn’t have an impressive form
or majesty that we should look at Him,
no appearance that we should desire Him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from;
He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.”
– Isaiah 53:2-3

Just like King Richard came to rule England in the cartoon version of his life as the perfect king with all authority, Jesus came in the actual flesh to rule not only mankind with justice and mercy, but also to rule the demons, the wind and waves, and even disease. Jesus came to be King—not made fit to rule because of His appearance, but because of His holiness and the ransom He paid.

We’ve studied Old Testament kings enough to know they ranged from good to bad to downright villainous. Jehoshaphat righteously reeducated Israel in God’s law, Solomon asked for wisdom to be a helper to his people, and Zedekiah lost the temple, his life, and his people to Babylonian captivity. It wasn’t that they were “phony kings” like Prince John, but even the righteous kings would fall short (like Solomon who did evil when he grew older). Or, as the rooster-narrator croons, “King Richard’s crown keeps slipping down around that pointed head.”

A perfect King was coming. It was only a matter of time.

Today, nearing the end of the third week of Advent, we recognize and worship Christ, the perfect King. Sure, we can draw connections between the humble and righteous reign of King Jesus and favorite childhood movies because we, like Robin Hood, are “Pardoned by order of the King,” or because He has “an outlaw for an in-law” in us. But all that (true) fun aside, we have even more to celebrate today. Our King is coming—and indeed has already come—to set right an upside-down world. 

“Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth’.”
– John 18:37

“The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.”
– Psalm 103:19

All hail King Jesus! SRT-Advent16-Instagram19s

  • Lauren Brooks

    YES! All hail King Jesus! I want to be so wrapped up in His majesty and His almighty power! How incredible His rule and reign. Jesus, I want to see you sitting on your throne today!

  • Keri McCue

    I love the theme all throughout scripture that the “lesser man” is really greater. God loves the underdog and I love this. He loves to take situations and people and use them in a way that might bewilder people. So that the glory can be all His. I love that we see this with Jesus as well. He wasn’t born into a rich, powerful family. He was born in a manger, to Mary and Joseph. The son of God came to this world as an “average man”. I love that thought!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • “Bless the Lord O my soul”

    Let me not forget my primary goal, which is to lift high your praise. My soul craves to be praised, to demand the respect I believe I deserve, and as I work hard for this position, I inadvertently displace the Lord from His position to be glorified and praised by my actions.

    Even yesterday I found myself in frustration because pride took a pre-eminent place over training and instead of directing and re-stating with patience, I was quick to anger and frustration out of the pride of my heart because my I felt my authority being questioned.

    I had a half our after this event before I needed to be to church for Christmas Eve choir practice, and I was fuming. After shifting gears and singing words of truth back to God, I found myself renewed. I was no longer on the throne and that felt good. My soul had taken time to “Bless the Lord..” and my heart was changed.

    The Lord is King, and He shows me the way to humility. My sinful soul does not want to receive it, and at times I even fight and argue with God for that “valued place of position”. But oh how I need Him. Oh how I need to be humbled. Thank you Lord for this reminder of where my praise ought to be aimed.

  • Stephanie

    I have just read and re-read Isaiah 53 KJV. It is the most beautiful explanation of who our Savior is and what He has done for each of us. His love is unfathomable and I am so grateful, humbled and indebted to our Lord and King Jesus Christ.

  • Disney’s Robin Hood is still a favorite of mine at almost 50 years old! Love the comparison and it is sooo perfect! Our real King is coming back! Come quickly, Lord Jesus! A blessed Advent to everyone!

  • So thankful God loves the least of these

  • Mandie Maass

    Everything in this world shall soon fade, but He shall reign forever. Every pain, every hurt, every ache, soon gone. In the span of eternity, our lives but a vapor, so I pray it shines with the humble, powerful, glimmering beauty of Christ.

    The Lord to Samuel when directing him towards his ‘good’ king, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” God, your not looking at my face, you staring into my heart. May you find it to be after you.

    And when I look at others, may I not be concerned with what I see on the outside, but by your Spirit, may I be broken over the things you see on the inside.

  • Elizabeth Ott

    I’ve been quietly observing this community for a while, and it’s been such an encouragement to read the hearts of others that long to let Truth soak deep into their bones. If I could please ask for your prayers, would you be lifting up me and my husband? We both desire to be missionaries to the unreached in the future, and while schooling and student debt keep us here for now, we want to grow in this training ground. It’s humbling to see it that way because I see how UTTERLY inadequate I am for the task; it’s so hard for me to not be frustrated at work, selfish at home, and impatient with the Father to send us on, but He has a good purpose for us. Be asking Him to grow, encourage, and strengthen us. Ask Him to make Colossians 4:6 true in our lives.

    • Laura Ashley Harper

      Elizabeth, I’ve been where you are. In the waiting and preparation time before going overseas. It’s hard, but I encourage you to not “wait” to live as you would in an unreached city. Live as you would overseas where you are right now. Before we left for the field a wise person told me if I wasn’t living on mission where I currently was I wouldn’t live on mission in an overseas context. Oh, and fully dive deep into your church family!! Most likely you won’t have a church family as you do here overseas, and God’s people, the church, will be your biggest rope holders this side of the ocean. Praying for you and may you be strengthened and encouraged that God has you where you are right now for a purpose! (Acts 17:26-27)

    • Traci

      Elizabeth,
      I just prayed. It is certainly challenging to wait when you feel like you’re ready NOW. I will pray for your specific request and for patience, peace, surrender, and trust for you both. Soak up every day and try to not get so focused on where you want to be that you miss the enjoyment and lessons He has for you right in the moment your in. I am so guilty of this. But, He knows;o) Best wishes!

    • Judy

      I will be praying for you and you are right, what is happening in your life right now is your training ground. He has you where you are for a purpose. I love Colossians too and suggest reading Phil 4:4-9. This time of year, it is easy to make the link from “the peace of God” (7) and the God of peace (9) and tie it to Isaiah 9:6, your Prince of Peace. May you know that Peace this advent.

      • Alexis

        Elizabeth, I too am in the waiting place, not for missions, but for a promise I received from God long ago. I pray that God uses your life now as a training ground to prepare you for all the wonderful things he has in store for you when it is time to travel overseas.

  • Oh I love the connection to Robin Hood!! Watched it a ton when I was younger! Still love it. Thank you Lord that you came for us, you are the true King. Help me to live loved.

  • Just prayed right now for you!!

  • “He was despised, and we didn’t value him.”

    That just cuts through my heart. I can’t imagine what it felt like for Jesus to go to the cross knowing he was despised and not valued.

    In my sinful nature, I would have been very angry and given up. BUT our perfect king and most humble savior died asking for their forgiveness. It just gives me chills!

    • Skigranny1

      I agree. He is God, but came as a man and that part must have been so hard. Knowing what He would go through, the pain and knowing He was despised and not valued. But He did it anyway because of His great love for us. I pray to have that kind of love for the world.

  • Mary Joseph

    Christ was born for this!

  • Praying right now for you.

  • SBTaunton

    I’ve been following along quietly because I started a bit late but I have been inspired by you ladies. And I was wondering if you prayer warriors would pray for me! I have my first exam in 10 years tomorrow! I trusted God and returned to school, I know He can help me get through it. It is a lot of information and I feel like my brain can’t contain all these muscles and where they are and what they do. Please pray that this information will click and that I will trust God to get me through this school if I am suppose to be here. That he’d show me the way! Thank you!

  • Tricia Cavanaugh

    Praise the Lord! That he would care to send his son to be born in a manger and to end up dying for me. That is the truest, most wonderful love story!

  • All hail King Jesus❣❣❣❣

  • churchmouse

    So the wise men show up to Herod wanting to know where was the King they had studied and of whose star they’ve seen. Herod quizzes the chef priests and scribes who also knew of the prophecy. So… Why didn’t the chief priests and scribes hitch a ride with the wise men to also see if the Messiah they had studied had arrived? Two groups who knew a Messiah was coming, who knew the prophecy. Only one group acted. Only one group was truly wise. Which am I like? Have I heard of and studied this King… and not followed? Or have I heard of and studied this King …and said “Here I am, Lord. Send me” ? May His Words enter my mind and my heart and exit my hands and my feet. Amen.

    • Tricia Cavanaugh

      Amen

    • Sue D.

      Great observation Churchmouse! Love your prayer! May His Words enter my mind and exit my hands and my feet. I might also ad my mouth. Amen

    • Marytony

      So true… and what impresses me the most is that the wise men acted, but at what cost? The trip most likely took months! Imagine that adventure!!! And the scribes and priests were just one day trip away…
      You are right. We have heard, we have studied, we are so close, but is our heart tender enough to recognize our need for the righteous King? I pray that mine would be and that pride or any other barrier will not impede me from worshiping my Lord and King.

      • Cristy

        I never considered the two groups and their decisions to go or stay, and the difference in their distances from Christ. Thank you ladies for pointing that out.

    • Laura

      Yes! And Amen!!

    • valerie

      May His Words enter my mind and my heart and EXIT my hands and my feet
      yes Lord!
      amen!!!

    • Lana

      Love. This. Truth. Amen!

    • Brenda

      So, I learned a lot this morning. I was surprised to read the scripture from Isaiah that was referenced above because Isaiah wrote this before Jesus arrived. My second surprise was what churchmouse wrote….why didnt they go and find out? Life is about choices and free will.
      I pray that I make the right choices.

    • Rachel

      I love this observation! Many more may see the truth than those who actually choose to follow. May I be one of them! Who hears His word in my heart and mind, and bears fruit in my thoughts and actions.

    • Stephanie

      Such great insight! I have never thought about this aspect before and it is so true. What would I have done? Definitely something to ponder. Thank you for sharing.

    • Cynthia

      How insightful! I always look for your comments every day! Lord, please answer this prayer, May Your words enter my heart sanctifying me and exit my mouth, my hands and my feet when needed!

  • I am pardoned by the one true king! Praise the Lord. I’ve been playing catch up as I started late and this is my first time to observe advent. I sure am enjoying these devotionals!

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