“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” ~ Matthew 2:2
There are many stories of kings both in the Bible and in the secular world. Some were bad kings, and others were good. However, none of them can compare to Jesus Christ, our King. None were as great as Jesus Christ. None were as gracious; none were as loving and sacrificial. None have more authority. Jesus is the King of Kings.
There are two times in Jesus’ life when He is specifically referred to as the “King of the Jews.” First, we see it in Matthew 2, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’” (vv. 1–2). The wise men traveled to Bethlehem. When they had come to the house, “they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him” (v. 11).
The other time Jesus is referred to as the “King of the Jews” was during His trial while standing before Pilate. Mark 15 says, “Pilate questioned Him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ And He answered him, ‘It is as you say.’ (v. 2). Later, after asking the crowd if they would like to release Jesus, “the King of the Jews,” the crowd of Jews cried out to crucify Him instead. John 19 says Pilate presented Jesus to the crowd and said, “‘Behold, your King!’ So they cried out, ‘Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!’ Pilate asked, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar’ (vv. 14b–15).
Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews, was received two different ways. The wise men had an attitude of worship. They knew the King—the One who had been prophesied to be “a ruler in Israel” (Micah 5:2) who would sit at the right hand of God and rule over the earth (Psalm 110)—had been born. They traveled a long journey, followed His star, and were so determined that even King Herod’s request in Matthew 2:7 did not distract them. Once in Christ’s presence, they fell to the ground and worshipped Him. The wise men did all that out of faith. Jesus was only a child at that point. He had not disclosed who He is, He had not started His ministry, He had not Himself done any miracles, and yet the wise men, who were Gentiles, believed and worshipped Him.
On the other hand, His own people rejected Him. John 1:11 tells us, “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive him.” These people had more reasons than the wise men to believe Jesus was their King. They had spent time with Jesus. Jesus had been ministering to them. He had preached and shared God’s love with them. He had done many miracles, and yet they were the ones who shouted, “Crucify Him!” There were two very different responses to the same King: One group worshipped Him, and the other rejected Him.
As we celebrate this Christmas season, let’s follow the wise men’s example. The wise men:
- Believed God’s Word—They believed the Child, Jesus, was who the Bible said He was.
- They were not distracted by circumstances, but they were focused on Jesus Christ.
- They worshipped Him with joy.
Let us approach this Christmas with an attitude of worship. Most of us already know who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us. He is not just the King of the Jews, He is King of Kings (Revelation 19:16). He did not come just to save the Jews, but He came to save us all from sin. His birth was the beginning of His earthly mission to redeem all those who accept Him as King. Worship Him for what He has done, for what He is doing, and for what He will continue to do. If you have not made the decision to truly accept Him as your King and Savior, today is the day. Accept Him as King and Lord over your life. Let Jesus Christ be your reason for the season!
Questions for Thought
- What or who is the source of your joy?
- Do you really view Jesus as your King? Are you letting Him rule over your life?
Father God, thank You for Your love and grace. Thank You that You sent us Your Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us and to be our King. Help us to have an attitude of worship, to always put You first, and to always be mindful of Your presence in our lives. Forgive us, and guide us to worship You in Spirit and in truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Take a minute and think about one area in your life you’re trying to control. Now, remember that Jesus is King. Let Jesus rule in your life, and take a moment to write down something new that you are grateful for every day. Pray a prayer of surrender and worship. Then, close with the reading of Psalm 100.
Pastoral Care Associate
In addition to all the Pastoral Care duties, Jephte is passionate about strengthening marriages through our Marriage Mentoring program and supporting those who need to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. Jephte and his wife, Marie, have two daughters.