Sermon Snap Shot December 31, 2017

the-adoration-of-the-magi-stanley-cooke

Sermon Snap Shot December 31, 2017

What if I were to tell you that after today’s story in Matthew 2, Jesus is never again referred to in the Gospels as “King of the Jews” until the day he is killed?
In Matthew 27 we find the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, addressing this same Jesus thirty years later with these words, “So, are you King of the Jews?”
After he was sentenced, some of Pilates’ soldiers placed a reed in his right hand and then a crown of thorns on his head before mocking him, “Hail! King of the Jews!”
And then, after nailing him to the cross, they placed a sign over his head which read, “This is Jesus, King of the Jews.”
Similar to what I said last Sunday morning in reference to calling Jesus the “Son of God” (Caesar Augustus’ self-proclaimed title), the magi referring to the baby born to Mary and Joseph as “King of the Jews” was provocative, if not treasonous. Matthew works hard to ensure that his readers don’t make the mistake of romanticizing – in a Norman Rockwell-like way – the story of Jesus’ birth. This baby, this family, was under threat from day one.
When the magi roll up into town looking for the “King of the Jews” their intentions may indeed have been pure, but Herod’s and the other power brokers’ were not. The magi’s words are indeed a foreshadowing of this baby’s purpose and eventual tragic, if not redemptive, destiny.
 
From Sunday December 31 message based on Matthew 2 entitled, “What Shall His Name Be? King of the Jews and Nazarene”
 
 
Rev. Lane Glaze
Pastor, Waters Edge UMC

 

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