Archive for December 21st, 2021

Reflection on the Two Kings


Written by Daniel Darling. This is an excerpt from his book “The Characters of Christmas.”

Matthew’s gospel is all about Jesus as king. This is why he opens with a genealogy establishing Jesus as rightful heir to the throne of David. And it’s why Matthew sets up a contrast with another king, Herod, the bloodthirsty ruler of the Jews appointed by Rome. This is Herod the Great, who kept power by attacking and often killing his political enemies (and even family members) and who built impressive architecture in Israel. The prominent and wealthy men from the East traveled far and wide, not to sit at the feet of the one who sat on a throne in Jerusalem, but to bow before an infant in a house in Bethlehem. The star from heaven didn’t point to Herod, but to Jesus. Matthew is telling us that true worshippers worship the true King. While most of Israel slept in spiritual lethargy and those who knew the Scriptures—the scribes and the chief priests—were more fearful of Herod than God, these men had the faith to worship the One who deserved worship: Jesus.

The presence of these men from the East—outsiders, Gentile—is a confirmation of God’s promise to send a Messiah who would not only be the King of the Jews, but a Messiah for the nations. Jesus’ kingdom is a kingdom not just for insiders, but for outsiders. In fact, many insiders—those who were closest to Jesus—were most resistant to His message. And so it often is today. Those who are most “churched” are often those who are so blinded by self-righteousness they cannot see—we cannot see—the gospel. And it is often those who seem so far from God whom God by His Spirit is drawing. This should also give us pause when we begin to think that the gospel is only for people who look like us, who come from our background, who speak our language. The truth is that if you live in the West, you are likely one of the “outsiders” to whom the gospel had to be extended; you are part of the Gentile nations who were furthest from Jesus. We should thank God that His promise wasn’t only for a certain ethnic group, but that in His kingdom, we see every nation, tribe, and tongue represented. This is a global kingdom. Let’s pray that our churches reflect heaven’s reality, the beautiful diversity of the kingdom of God.

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:3-8

MUSIC VIDEO: Christmas Day

Performed by Chris Tomlin and We the Kingdom

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