Sermon 011 Jesus Is King


  • We don't know how many there were; though they usually traveled in caravans of a dozen or more
  • They weren't kings themselves; they were astrologers, star-gazers
  • They weren't there at the same time as the shepherds; probably 18-24 months later (notice that it says in verse 11 they went to the house)


Illustration: Black Friday shopping

Now clearly, this is a negative example. But the fact of the matter is that we are all familiar with re-arranging our lives for the sake of either what we want. We have re-arranged our lives to the point that we all buy convenience food, microwaves, and boxed meals, and nice automobiles in order to save time; we then use that extra time to go to the gym. Well some of us are. We're willing to get eyebrows waxed for the sake of "beauty." Well, some of us are.

We also can find ourselves re-arranging our lives not out of convenience but of necessity. We never imagined our lives without our loved one, our brother, our mom, our wife, our husband. But then those people died, or abandoned us, or maybe we left them, and now we have re-arranged lives.

We probably never thought that we could make our lives work without a certain job or income level or square footage of house. But then one of two things happen. One, we lose that job, that income, that house, and our lives are re-arranged. We make it work. It probably hurts, but it works. The second thing that happens is that we get an even better job, an even higher income, or a even bigger house, and then we suddenly realized that we've not merely re-arranged our lives, but actually built our lives around those new circumstances. We start talking about how to make sure we never lose that income, we protect that house; we start talking housekeepers and bigger life insurance policies. We feel protective when the government wants a bigger slice of the pie that we never actually expected to have in the first place.

My point is that we know very much what it is like to re-arrange our lives based off of need or want, based off of conveniences or brute, harsh facts. So then the question becomes, when we are confronted with a star rising in the east, with the fact that Jesus is the king of everything, are we willing then to re-arrange our lives? To, as the Magi did, leave our old lives behind, and get closer to the king.

It causes you to QUELL wanna-bes

But here's the thing about that that we know instinctively. Once we begin to question our old lives, once we begin to leave the old behind, and charge on toward the new for the sake of the King, for the sake of Jesus, it puts you in conflict with the old kings of your life, the wanna-be kings. We see this with the Magi and Herod...

Example: "Who sings that song?" "Norah Jones!" "And why don't we leave it that way."

INTERNAL LIFE (emotions, feelings, intentions, aims)

Cynicism (its been bad before; its gonna be bad again);

Self Imposed Naivete (aka ignorance is bliss)

Mickey Mouse Syndrom (all happy, all the time!)

Eeyore Syndrum (all sad, all "poor me" all the time!)

EXTERNAL LIFE (relationships, people)

Always working to improve everyone else's opinion of you

Non-honest, Non-commitment (Oh, shoot, I'm busy)

Human Doing (must! achieve! more!)

It has you QUESTION assumptions

It makes you wonder if things are really going to happen like you'd expect.

Example: not using toothpaste

Magi = Gentile

Herod = not exactly loved, and not ever a pure-bred Jew, but at least we has the king

Priests/Teachers = stay in Jerusalem!

Jesus = a baby with a mix of respectable and questionable heritage

What if the very people you think are unworthy of getting close to Jesus are the very people who are closer to Him then you even know. What if the folks that you automatically put on a pedestal are the ones who are struggling with Jesus' identity?

We all have expectations of what God and Jesus can and can't do. Jesus would never vote _that _way. Jesus would never hang out with _those _people. Jesus would never hear _my _prayer. Certainly he would never show up as a baby in a backwater town. Certainly he would never die the death of a political insurrectionist. Certainly, certainly, certainly.

But what Matthew chapter 2 shows us is that things aren't as certain as we thought. When we put words in Jesus' mouth about who or can and can't hang out with, basically we're just choosing our own prejudices and then making sure we feel better about them because we think that God backs us up on this one. Anne Lamott puts it this way:

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

**Anne Lamott**

It QUENCHES your thirst

We all have a need within us to glorify God; when we fully live lives that recognize Jesus as King, we can be fulfilled. Worshiping God quenches a need in us that probably never even knew we had.

Do you remember the first time you wakeboarded? Or climbed a mountain or saw the ocean? Maybe it was when you held your new born child, or the first time you saw them ride a bike, or drive a car, or walk down the aisle. Or maybe for you it was the first time you could afford to try filet mignon? Or lobster tail? Or Nutella? Or maybe for you it was when you gazed upon your unclothed spouse for the first time. Or the first time you met that special someone and something just clicked? Whatever it was, you probably know that feeling of a yearning being met, a satisfaction coming to you, but you didn't even know you had that yearning in the first place.

And maybe some of you today feel a vague gnawing on your insides, something incorporal whispering in the synapses of your brain and strings of your heart that your life is not complete, that your purpose is not fulfilled, and whatever quest you are on currently is probably the wrong one.

But when we see that Jesus is King, and we respond; when we enter into a beautiful quest that leads us to quell the fake kings that demand our attention, when we quell those kings so that we can question our misinformed assumptions, and we finally come to Jesus and fall down and worship him, giving him all we are, then that thirst, that crawling-in-the-desert-mirage-inducing thirst, that vague-yet-powerful thirst, that neck-deep, sky-high, painful-yet-easily-ignored thirst is finally, FINALLY, quenched. Because Jesus is King. And that's what he does.


  1. Because of Jesus' Kingship, has your life been re-arranged? Fully, completely, utterly? If not, what do you think is keeping you back? What scares you about moving forward, about setting forth on your quest to King Jesus?
  2. What old, wanna-be kings in your life need quelled? How do you suppose you'll go about doing that? (Spiritual disciplines; accountability; study and prayer)
  3. Is there some assumptions about what Jesus can't or won't or couldn't possibly do that you need to let go? Unclean? Begin to question? (In other words, I'm asking you if there's a prejudice that you need to let go of and you need to stop thinking that Jesus supports you in).
  4. Finally, is there a general sense in your life that there is some thirst, some longing that needs quenched? Could it possibly be that King Jesus is asking for your worship, your life, your all; could it be that He is asking everything of you so that He can be everything to you? How will you respond?
Anthony Parrott

Anthony Parrott

Washington, DC