A King Like No Other
Welcome everyone to the third and final part of our Christmas message series “The Gift”. Each week in this series we have looked at each of the three gifts that were given to Jesus by the Magi.
Matthew 2:10-11 NLT 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Frankincense: Jesus is our High Priest
Myrrh: Jesus is our suffering servant
Today we are finishing this series by looking at the gift of gold and its significance as a gift to young Jesus.
Has anyone here ever watched the show Antique Road Show?
It always amazes me how much something that I would consider junk is actually worth. I mean I have seen things that were worth a few thousand dollars and one time a guy had a watch that was given to his dad as a company gift that was worth almost a million dollars.
And if you watch the show today, when they air a repeat they show what it was worth when the episode aired, and how much it would be worth today. Sometimes the numbers go up, but a lot of the time the value of certain items goes down.
So you have to sell it at the right time because its value fluctuates over time.
This is not so with gold. Gold is one of the things that consistently retains and increases in value.
In biblical days the chief measure of wealth was how much gold a person had because of its scarcity and value. In fact it was known as a gift fit for kings. And wouldn’t you know it that the Magi came and presented a gift fit for a king to young Jesus. Look again at what they did.
Matthew 2:11 NLT 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
You see they saw and knew somehow, we don’t know how but they recognized him and honored him as a King.
The Magi came to greet King Jesus because they knew who he was, who Paul would later describe in...
1 Timothy 6:15 NLT 15 For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
Jesus is described not only as being a king, but being the King of Kings, not just a lord, but the Lord of all lords.
There was no other way in the Greek for Paul to emphasize this anymore than this, by saying this the way he did, he was saying that Jesus was the supreme authority over all the kingdoms in this world, the entire universe is in his hand and under the rule of King Jesus
In other words, Jesus is a king like no other
Why it Matters
Why it Matters
Jesus is a King like no other because he shatters every known preconceived idea of what any king, let alone the Kings of kings should be like.
The Jews expected their King to be born in a palace because he would rule the nations.
Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT 6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
When you read this prophecy about the Messiah, the coming King it is understandable why you might assume this, but it never says explicitly that he would be surrounded by wealth, luxury, or comfort. This assumption was made by the Jews because of their view of what or who a king was.
The Jews also failed to see the gap of time between what we celebrate as Christians, Jesus’ first advent or coming and his second coming which we are all eagerly awaiting, but that is a topic for another day.
Jesus is a King like no other...
No one expected the King to be born in poverty, in a cave, surrounded by farm animals.
No one expected the King, savior, messiah to be from Nazareth; the son of a carpenter.
No one predicted that the Son of God, the King of Glory would befriend prostitutes, touch lepers, love those that religion had rejected and deemed unworthy
No one ever imagined he would choose uneducated fishermen, despised tax collectors, and rebellious trouble-makers as his disciples.
The religious leader never expected their Messiah to forgive a woman caught in adultery, a woman he had every right to condemn while at the same time confronting the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
No one would expect the King of kings to stand trial for crimes he didn’t commit and yet be convicted of them.
No one ever imagined the Messiah would be beaten, flogged, bruised, whipped, stripped naked, and hung on a cross like a slave.
No one thought the King prophesied to rule and reign with righteousness and justice would cry out to God the Father to forgive his executioners for they did not know what they were doing.
They thought their King had come to rule and reign, not come to die, for the Earth to shake, the sky to grow dark, and for the world to lose hope.
No one would have believed that royalty would need to be buried in a borrowed cave.
They also didn’t expect what would happen 3 days later when that stone was rolled away and that same king stepped out of that tomb.
Demonstrating his ultimate authority, not simply over the kingdoms of this world, but over the kingdoms of the unseen world and over death itself.
Our King Jesus is risen and alive, and unlike every other King who has ever come and gone, our King is still sitting on his throne.
Jesus is certainly a King like no other.
What is interesting in the Bible is how various people responded to Jesus being a King like no other. And honestly these responses are very similar to how we respond even today to Jesus as a King.
So I want to briefly look at 3 ways in which people then, as well as people today respond.
King Herod opposed Jesus as King.
Remember, he tried to trick the Magi into telling him where this young Jesus was located. Why? He claimed that wanted to worship him, but really had a secret plan to kill him.
Look at what it says in Matthew 2:13-14 NLT 13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother,
King Herod knew that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, he even checked with the religious leaders to confirm it. And then rather than bow before him and submit to his authority, Herod wanted to cling to his own authority and outright opposed Jesus.
We aren’t so different are we? We do the same thing.
We say “I don’t need religion or God, I am fine on my own”.
We want to be in control of our lives, be our own Kings and Queens. Nobody is going to tell me what to do.
So in an effort to be in control, we oppose Jesus and defy him just so we can maintain control.
But it is futile because the Bible says that one day every knee will bow and every mouth will confess that Jesus is King and Lord whether we want to or not.
The Jewish priests dismissed Jesus as King
King Herod asked the priests where the Messiah would be born and they quoted Micah 5:2 NLT 2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.
They heard from the Magi that this child had been born, they were 5 miles away from their Messiah yet they didn’t join the Magi to go and worship him.
It wasn’t that they opposed the Messiah, they simply dismissed Jesus as being the anointed one.
How often have we found ourselves being just as dismissive of Jesus as King. Christmas for so many has become about gifts, going to grandma’s house, having a big meal, seeing Santa at the mall and all these other things that we put so much emphasis on, but at the same time dismissing the reason we celebrate in the first place, dismissing the King.
You may not be opposing Jesus, but how often have you dismissed him in order to focus on other things.
The wisemen bowed to Jesus as King
As we read in the beginning today. The Magi went to this young child, bowed down and worshipped him.
Bowing low was the highest form of worship and humility in the day. It was a posture of surrender, submission, and reverence.
The wisemen left everything to go on a very long, and likely difficult journey to simply be in the presence of and worship a king like no other.
It wasn’t enough for them to simply acknowledge that King Jesus had been born, they had to go and worship him and offer gifts to him.
What about you? What is your response?
Oppose-don’t need him, want to be in control
Dismiss-acknowledge but remain indifferent
Bow and worship-submit, surrender, and serve
Growing up, I didn’t understand this. Jesus was simply a character in a nice story they told us on Christmas. He was a cute 8 lb 4 oz baby in a manger who grew up to be a really nice man who saved lost sheep and bounced little kids on his lap.
I knew about Jesus, but I didn’t know him.
As a teenager I learned he wasn’t just a safe Jesus, he was a King who stripped himself of his glory in heaven to save a sinner like me. He was a King worthy of my worship
He wasn’t this distant uninvolved angry judge, he certainly was just the man upstairs, the big guy in the sky. Jesus was a King like no other.
King of glory, King of righteousness, King of ages, King of Kings.
Jesus is the King who heals the sick, strengthens the weak, delivers the captives, and restores that which is broken.
He is our shelter in time of trouble and a light in this very dark world.
He is the prince of peace, the lamb of God, the beginning and end, the resurrection and the life.
His goodness is indescribable, power incomprehensible, at his name darkness shudders, in his presence demons flee.
JESUS IS KING!
I want you to know him. Don’t let this Christmas be like any other. Don’t oppose him, don’t ignore him, submit, surrender, bow down, and worship our King.