Scripture Reference: Isaiah 9:1-7, Isaiah 53, Matthew 20:25-28, Philippians 2:5-11
So many started following Jesus because they had high hopes--hopes that this new potential Messiah was also their
potential military general. (Even his name, Y’Shua, was the name Joshua, reminding them of a hero that led
into Promised Land.) But many stopped following Jesus when they realized his true intention. Israel
Jesus did not come to solve their political problems, nor to drive out the Roman soldiers guarding every street with sword and spear. He did not come brandishing weapons of war. He did not come with a set of campaign promises to be forgotten after the election. He did not come campaigning for general, national philosopher, or statesman for the Sanhedrin (the ancient Knesset).
Jesus of Nazareth was nothing that anyone expected, and few wanted. He was not a King on a white steed marching gloriously into
. Instead he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and told Pilate he was a King--but not of a kingdom in this world. He also would not rule with an iron fist. But would instead teach his followers that one would be the greatest by being least of all, by serving others. Jerusalem
The point of all the above being, who is the Messiah Israel should have expected?
I submit to you that the prophets were very clear in describing a Messiah who was to be a King--yet a king who suffers. A mighty prince--but one who brings peace with God, not peace with
Here is the King and Prince part:
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. . . For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
And here is the Suffering Servant part:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.” Isaiah 53:5-10
All the political posturing of national leaders reminds me of an event in the NT:
Matthew 20:25-28 tells how Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
So what does this mean for us? How do we apply this message about the coming King so serves and suffers?
One word: Worship.
Holy, penitent, humble, searching worship of Jesus the Christ.
Philippians tells us that Jesus, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be clung to, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Bow in worship of this Christ who has come to serve and lead you. It is up to you.
Please, make it happen this Christmas.