Nov 20, 2016 sermon, Elect King Jesus!
Today is what the church calls ‘Christ the King Sunday.
A king is an undisputed leader with total power over a nation.
With so many democracies in place today, most countries don’t have kings anymore.
But no matter what the entity,…we always seem to want to have one person in charge, don’t we?
Nations are never governed by a group, but always give the reigns of power to one person.
Corporations have boards of directors, but they also mostly empower a CEO.
Churches have councils and committees and such, but still want to have a leader, like a bishop.
Back in Old Testament times, the people were told that God would be their leader.
But you know what they said? - ‘Give us a king! We want to have a king like other nations!’
So God let them chose their kings,… some of which turned out good and some not so good (sound familiar?).
Some, like David, led the nation to great things while others were corrupt, misled the people, and ended up failures.
Therefore, this idea of Jesus being ‘King of the Jews’ goes back to the Jewish (and really, all) people wanting a king.
The king at the time of Jesus (Herod) was Jewish only in heritage, was not a man of God, and was a political hack for the Romans.
What the people wanted was a bonafide king of their own, not one who was a lackey for the occupiers.
What they wanted in a king were three primary attributes -
wisdom (that they believed came from God),…
a king who was on their side and understood their needs,….
and a king who had adequate power to make all things right.
Thinking back two weeks ago on election day, that’s what most Americans wanted too.
They wanted someone with the wisdom and ‘know how’ to do what’s best for the nation.
Someone with understanding for people, and “people like me”.
And, they wanted someone to use the power of the presidency in in order to make things right.
Some thought that was Hilary Clinton, and others Donald Trump.
But I was wondering; what if Jesus was the third party candidate (as so many wanted)?
How would he have done against the two others whom the country split their votes for?
If we all want a leader with wisdom, understanding and power,…
how would Jesus stack up when the voting started?
With respect to having wisdom;…..Jesus would have pretty much moped the floor with the other two.
In all his debates with opponents, he wisely turned their lame and legalistic arguments on them and showed up their hypocrisy.
And, when he talked about the future, he didn’t make a lot of false promises, but spoke with a certainty that made people believe.
And on the issue of understanding and caring about people, he blows them both away.
While they both said that they sincerely cared about certain groups of people they felt were left out or behind,…
only Jesus cares for ALL people, and not just a particular segment of the population who might vote for him.
CNN couldn’t break down demographic groups who’d support Jesus because it would be rich and poor, old and young, black and white and latino, the gay and the straight,…etc….etc.
Jesus was all about caring for and loving those whom everyone else had forgotten about or considered unloveable.
So on the issue of ‘wisdom’ and ‘know how’,…
and the issue of compassion of understanding who we are,….
Jesus comes up aces.
But then there is that defeat on the cross, that was so disheartening and looked to be career-ending.
For starters, imagine what the image of Jesus about to die a cross did to his supporters.
His defeat at Calvary looked like he really had no power
He not only was going to die, but was mocked by his opponents who laughed at him for even talking about kingship.
When we see Jesus dying on the cross, there was this sense that ‘nice guys finish last’.
And yet, that provided Jesus with advantages over anyone else who vies for leadership.
By his death, Jesus accomplished all three things we look for in a leader.
For one thing,….by willingly going to his death, he did so trusting in God the Father.
If we want someone with wisdom, there is no greater wisdom to have than to confidently walk into hell.
Secondly,….unlike any other leader, this death told us that Jesus understands our worst fears.
Having suffered and died himself, he can relate to the worst that happens to us, which no one else can ever do.
And then, lastly, the other thing that his death did, was assure everyone that he had access to the ultimate power.
Since a main thing we want in a good leader is strength and power and might,…
people saw in his death that this was not a defeat after all!
With his resurrection,….Jesus proved that he has access to the ultimate power that even defies death itself!
So to see who ought to be our king, let’s tally up the three criteria for the other candidates and Jesus.
Clinton has the wisdom of government experience,….
Trump has the wisdom of business experience,…
but Jesus has the wisdom of God that beats them both.
On understanding,….Clinton and Trump both said they cared about some groups considered weak or on the outside of power.
But Jesus talked and lived like he cares about ALL people and doesn’t care what group you identify with.
Lastly,….both Trump and Clinton have to rely on other political people to help them carry out their will.
Jesus, on the other hand,….is connected with the power of God the Father and Holy Spirit and that power that has no equal.
Seems like, then,….in the end,….Jesus wins!
So if you want someone to lead you in your life;…who you can look up to and who has all the answers and can guide you,…
If you want someone who really cares about you and the whole world in which you live,
and if you want someone with the power to get things done, no matter what the obstacles seem to be,…
then Jesus is your guy!
You can entrust the nation,….the world,…and your life, to him.
If you wish he was on the ballot;…..don’t be discouraged.
He can be your king you can vote for him every day of your life.
Just pull the lever in ‘your heart of faith’ and vote to trust him to always be your leader.