St Stephen Lewisham
25th November 2012
Christ the King
Christopher Robin the five-year-old son of A.A, Milne tells us what he would do if he were a king.
I often wish I were a King
And then I could do anything
If only I were King of Spain
I’d take my hat off in the rain
If only I were King of France
I wouldn’t brush my hair for aunts.
I think if I were King of Greece
I’d push things off the mantelpiece.
… and so on. The whole idea of Kingship to a 5-year old meant, “being able to do what I want, when I want, free from restraint and criticism”.
But being a King isn’t like that. Kingship for Jesus meant doing His Father’s will rather than His Own.
In St John’s gospel, after feeding the 5,000, Jesus saw that they were about to make him king. So He quickly withdrew and hid himself until the mass hysteria had subsided. The Jews wanted a warrior-King who would kick their Roman rulers out.
Jesus knew differently. He refused to be that sort of king. "My kingdom is not of this world" he said to Pontius Pilate when he was put on trial by the very people who had earlier wanted Him to be their king. To Pontius Pilate’s Jesus said quite plainly “my kingdom is not of this world".
It was for claiming to be a king that Jesus was put to death. The accusation written over His head by Pilate – to the annoyance of the Jews – was This is the King of the Jews. Christians from that day forward look on the Cross as the Throne from which the Son of God reigns. By His rising from the dead Jesus showed he was more powerful than the last enemy, death. By the grace of God’ the death of the Prince of Life enabled mankind to partake of eternal life.
The Book of Revelation tells us that at the end of time ‘the Kingdom of this world will become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ and he shall reign for ever and ever… and of His Kingdom there shall be no end."
Meanwhile we live in a world which refuses to recognize Jesus as its King and Lord – and part of us would, if we were honest, admit that we only half-heartedly want to have him as King over our lives. Like the 5-year-old Christopher Robin, we want to see ourselves as the undisputed king of our own lives!.
But how much more grown-up it would be to acknowledge that true maturity consists, not what we want to do, but those things which God has prepared for us to do. If we submit to His rule, we shall find that, so far from becoming enslaved by Him we become more and more free. It is only in the service of Jesus Christ the King, that we shall ever find perfect freedom.
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