The Baby King
Here we see a baby…yet in the same breath we’re hearing about a kingdom. We now know that kingdom to be set up at the 2nd coming of Christ, not the first. Jesus’ first visit as a baby did indeed spark a kingdom…a spiritual one. But the physical one is yet to come! The rapture, end times, millennial reign and eternal state are spoken of throughout the Bible in different contexts, and here we see it all mentioned even in the manger!
With the proclamation of the wise men, “Where is he that is born the king of the Jews?”, all the prophecies of the coming Messiah were brought to mind in the
nation of Israel. From the first declaration of a coming deliverer to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15 the hearts of men looked longingly for the Promised One. Each looked for something different in the
Messiah. When Christ was born in Bethlehem, Israel did not receive what they were looking for from the newborn King, but they had the opportunity to receive far more.
Jesus was born during a time when the Jews were anticipating a great and mighty king that would come and deliver them from the oppression of the Romans. They expected Him to reign in Jerusalem and establish His kingdom on this earth. Yet, our Savior did not come as they thought He would. He did not come as a mighty king. He came as an innocent baby boy, born in a manger in Bethlehem, to die for us. He died so that we might be forgiven of our sins and might have a home in Heaven if we believe on Him. He came to make a way for us to live with Him eternally.
Jimmy, an eight-year old, was one of the best students in his Sunday school class. One day, the teacher asked her students to draw a picture of the baby Jesus. Jimmy worked and worked and came up with a picture of a modern jet airplane with four people inside. The teacher couldn’t figure it out although she thought maybe it was a modern rendering of the Christmas story. She asked, “Jimmy, this is a nice picture, but what is it?” “Why, that’s Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus on their flight into Egypt.” “But there are four people in there. Who is the fourth one?” “Why, that’s Pontius the Pilate!” [Dr. Paul Chappell]
Even as this little boy wasn’t sure of all the facts of Christ’s earthly ministry, many had misunderstood why Jesus had come to a lowly manger in Bethlehem. Revelation 19:16 says, “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Although He did not come to set up His physical kingdom when He came so long ago, He will one day come again to take all believers to Heaven with Him. He could not establish His kingdom without first providing a way for us to get to Heaven! And our flight won’t be to Egypt…we’re going past the moon to a new heaven and new earth!
One day He will bring peace. Finally there will be peace, but not until the Prince of Peace brings it! He will destroy all evil and establish His kingdom for all eternity. We have hope because we know that one day all those who believe on His name will reign with Him! Because He came and died for us, we can know that we will one day be with Him for all eternity if we accept Him as our Savior.
I. Consider for a moment what Israel was looking for in the Newborn King.
A. As the nation of Israel looked forward to the coming of the Messiah they were filled with hopes and expectations, as they were familiar with the many Old Testament prophecies concerning Him and His kingdom.
B. They looked for One Who would RESTORE the kingdom of David in its entire splendor.
God promised David in
2 Samuel 7:16
And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.
C. They looked for One who would OVERTHROW & DEFEAT the Roman Occupation and Oppressors.
8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; 9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
Christ declared Himself to be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Luke 4:18 when He said
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
D. They looked for One Who would ESTABLISH peace & prosperity in Israel.
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And…he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
E. But how could this little child born of a peasant woman ever provide these things. The problem was they had a complete misunderstanding of the Messiah’s primary mission. They failed to comprehend the truth that Christ Himself declared in John 18:36 when He said that His “Kingdom was not of this world.” They failed to see the treasures the newborn King offered.
II. Consider what the Newborn King offers.
A. Christ offers to RESTORE life to the lifeless.
ill.--A young artist had toiled and struggled in his work upon a piece of statuary, until at last the block of marble which held his thoughts imprisoned had given way to the statue of an angel which appeared quite perfect to the beholder. The young artist wished the criticism of those of greater renown than himself, so he sent an invitation to Michelangelo. The young artist had hidden himself behind a screen, and wanted to hear the criticism without being seen. When the Michelangelo came to look the work over he was heard to say to one of the young artist’s friends standing near: "It lacks one thing." The poor artist was well nigh brokenhearted as he heard this criticism. He hurried away from his studio and refused either to eat or to sleep, and at last one of his friends made his way into Michelangelo’s presence to ask what it was that the statue lacked. "Man," said Michelangelo, "it lacks only life. If it had only life, it would have been perfect as God Himself could have made it."
This is the picture of the man who is without Christ. He has many things to commend himself to the world; his disposition may be good, and his character may be beautiful, but if he lacks eternal life, he lacks everything. --J. Wilbur Chapman
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
B. Christ offers the OVERTHROW & DEFEAT of Satan & sin.
…through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
1 John 3:8
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
C. Christ offers to ESTABLISH peace with God.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Ill.--A young man went to a minister in great distress about his spiritual condition. He said to the minister, "Sir, can you tell me what I must do to find peace?" The minister replied, "Young man, you are too late." "Oh!" said the young man, "surely you don’t mean to say I am too late to be saved?" "Oh, no," was the reply, "but you are too late to do anything to find peace. Jesus did every thing that needed to be done twenty centuries ago." --The Wonderful Word
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
What is your vision of who God is? Have you crafted carefully a box and fit Him into it? Or are you truly seeking Him and His will for your life. Everybody seems to find what they are looking for…so let’s hope we’re actively seeking the truth which will set us free!
What are you looking for today? Significance… Acceptance… Peace… A meaningful life… Love… Victory over those things that drag you down? Jesus Christ stands before you today as King of Kings and Lord of Lords with outstretched arms and offers you more than you could ever expect or hope for if you will but yield to Him as your King.
One day there will be no more struggles and heartache. There will be no more pain and trials. There is hope! One day Christ will take all those who have trusted in Him to Heaven to live with Him forever! Be thankful and joyful that Christ came to earth and died on Calvary so we might live with Him for eternity!
Only those who have accepted Christ’s gift of salvation will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. We need to be diligent in our witness for Christ to those who have never accepted Him as their Savior. The Lord is coming soon. Who do you need to tell of Christ’s free gift of salvation today?
[some material courtesy Gerald Flury]
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