The King For God
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
- Micah 5:2
The prophesied “ruler to come” will be “over Israel” and “for me (i.e. for the Lord).”
In Scripture, prophets didn’t just tell the future (in fact, they rarely did that). Their primary task was to bring the word of God to the people of God. They took the name of the Lord for the instruction and blessing of their community. A prophet came “for the Lord” or “for the Lord’s sake” to the people.
The coming king would have a prophetic role. He would represent the Lord to the people. He would carry “all authority in heaven and on earth,” to quote Jesus. He would be in office primarily for the Lord.
What Jesus does he does for the glory of God. And this is good news for us. Because when God is glorified first and foremost, everything else can settle into its proper place. The ancient Hebrew vision of “shalom” holds out hope that God’s secure place in (and beyond) the cosmos will restore harmony and order everywhere and for everyone.
Jesus will represent us. That’s true. He shared in our common humanity that he might stand in solidarity with us, redeem us, and intercede for us. He is truly for us.
But he can only do that because he first represents God. He is “the image of the invisible God.” God can fully be known by us because we have seen Jesus. We can love and worship and submit to God because we’ve seen him in Jesus. And he can represent us perfectly because he has perfectly fulfilled his destiny.
Jesus is not a ruler who came to power via an accident of birth or an electoral victory; he was sent by God to rule over all. We aren’t called to follow an abstract deity; we’re called to be followers of Jesus. He wraps flesh around our pious maxims of love and charity. He persevered. And he offers us his Spirit to empower us to follow him.
Jesus doesn’t tell God what to do; he shows us what God’s willing to do. As we approach Christmas, let’s remember that the baby whose birth we celebrate on this holiday became the King over all. And this gives us cause for great rejoicing.
Take a few minutes to celebrate Christ our King. If it helps, here’s a joy-filled, happy-fun Christmas song that celebrates the coming of our King: Born is the King (It’s Christmas) by Hillsong Worship.