At Christmas, we celebrate the miraculous birth of King Jesus over 2,000 years ago. The birth of Jesus was announced by angels, attended by shepherds, and acknowledged by wisemen who honored Jesus with three symbolic gifts: Gold for the everlasting King; Frankincense for the Wonderful Counsellor; Myrrh for the Mighty Warrior; and Worship for the Prince of Peace. Today, we'll reflect on the true meaning of the first gift, gold, which represents Jesus as King.
While it may seem strange today to give a baby gold, this gift had a deeply spiritual meaning in ancient times. Gold was very valuable in and of itself, making it a gift fit for a king. When Jesus was born, the Jews were expecting a Messiah, but they were expecting their King to be born in a palace, surrounded by wealth, luxury and comfort. They weren't expecting Jesus the King of the Jews to be born in poverty, in a manger, as the son of a carpenter.
When you look at the Christmas story in Matthew 2, you'll find there were three main responses to Jesus as King. Over 2,000 years later, you'll see the exact same responses to Jesus today. Which response will you have?
#1: HEROD OPPOSED THE KING
In Matthew 2:3-4, we learn that the king of Jesus' day, King Herod, was a cruel, power-hungry ruler who destroyed anyone he feared was trying to topple him from his throne. Since King Herod believed that Jesus would take over his throne in time, he hatched a plan to find Jesus so he could try to kill him.
While the case of King Herod is obviously extreme, it doesn't take much to oppose Jesus' kingship today. For example, you may try to keep Jesus off the throne of certain aspects of your life. Honestly, when we refuse to submit certain aspects of our lives to the kingship of Jesus, we act like He isn't the Lord of our lives.
#2: THE PRIESTS DISMISSED JESUS AS KING
The next reaction to Jesus as King came from the Jewish priests. While they didn't oppose Jesus like King Herod did, they did not really do anything at all in reaction to the news of the birth of the Messiah. This is a strange reaction because the priests knew the prophecy that a Jewish ruler would be born in Bethlehem. They understood the Biblical text, but they failed to apply it to their lives. So, when they heard the Messiah may have been born, they chose to do nothing about it. Sadly, indifference is a common response to Jesus as King today. When we read His Word but fail to apply it to our lives, we end up dismissing Jesus.
#3: THE WISEMEN WORSHIPED JESUS AS KING
Last but certainly not least, the third response to Jesus as King is to worship him, like the wisemen did. In Matthew 2:11, Scripture tells us this: "After coming in to the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him." By this act of bowing down to Jesus, the wisemen were submitting to Jesus' kingship. While King Herod was out for blood, the wisemen bravely declared 'Jesus is our King!'
The truth is, Jesus is the Alpha and Omega - the beginning and the end. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. His goodness is indescribable, His power incomprehensible, and His grace is irresistible! Death couldn't defeat Jesus - the grave couldn't hold Him. At the name of Jesus, darkness trembles! In Jesus' presence, demons flee! This is the King of Kings we get to worship at Christmas, and every day in between. What gift will you offer Jesus this Christmas? We pray you'll bring him the gift of your worship today.
To continue learning this Christmas season, we encourage you to check out the below additional content from Liquid Church:
- MESSAGE: This Christmas, is God calling you to forgive what you can't forget? God invites His children to forgive those who’ve hurt us and live free. Click here to watch online.
- MESSAGE: Vision Sunday - As we kickoff the Christmas season, hear our vision for where we see God calling our church in 2022. Click here to watch online.
- ARTICLE: How To Develop Rhythms Of Rest - Is the holiday season draining your energy? In an American culture of workaholism and passionate drive for success, developing a rhythm of rest is more important than ever. Click here to read the article on The Liquid Blog.