Tuesday, June 27, 2006

King, Servant and Sacrifice

Jesus is  not the king of the materially minded people; he had come to rule our hearts
"Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself" (John 6:15).
It was an opportunity that anyone who would like to have: to become king! However, Jesus runs away from that excellent opportunity. However, in John 18 when questioned by Pilate, Jesus ascertained that "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth" (John 18:37). At the same time he also had made clear that his kingdom "... is not of this world" (John 18:36).
There are crucial differences between the way kingship was understood by the people of Jesus' day (including Pilate) and Jesus. That is why Jesus had to clarify that his kingship is not an earthly kingship. The people around Jesus, who had just eaten the food that Jesus multiplied from five loaves and two fish, had a different concept of kingship. For them the ideal king is someone who can feed the hungry. The rulers should provide opportunities so that people can work and earn their living. Low taxation, high per capita income, secure investments, etc are all part of it. Here is however, an ideal candidate for kingship: he provides all these without you working for it. He not just provides you opportunity to earn your bread and butter but actually serves it without any effort from your side.
Jesus conceived kingship as an authority that is higher than that of this world. He has come to rule the hearts of the people. That is another way of saying he has come to establish the kingdom of God. A bunch of people craving for the material things, concerned only about their livelihood and nothing higher than that would hardly qualify to be the citizens of this Kingdom. He don't want to be their king. He had no other option except to flee that crowd.
Establishing the eternal kingdom, with eternal values that are high above the earthly, is through the servant-hood. He came to be a servant of all. He suffered as a servant and then became the ultimate sin-offering. Since he became the sacrifice for all of us, those who believe in Him are now citizens of the Kingdom of God and members of the household of God. Becoming the king of Jews that day could have foiled the eternal plan of God. Now he is my king and he rules my heart. Thank you Jesus for fleeing that mad crowd.

The Prodigal and the Party Pooper!

Are you a party pooper? Hold on! In order to clear the air, let me first talk about a party pooper that I found in the Bible. The story...