Born King

Reading in Matthew 2 today, I noticed that Jesus was recognized by the Magi who had come from the east as the one that would be born to be the king of the Jews. I noted that this is a pretty extraordinary statement given that the Roman empire ruled over Israel at the time. The most powerful empire that had been known in the world up to that point was now ruling over the Jews, and yet the Magi came saying that they were looking for the one who would be born to be their king.

Of course, they were looking for the Messiah, the one that they thought would deliver the Jews from oppression, as did also the Jewish people. As they had been under the heel of oppression of several kingdoms, whether they would be the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medes and Persians, the Greeks, or now the Romans, the Jews had waited for centuries for deliverance. They expected one that would come to liberate them from their oppression, setting them free from the servitude that they had experienced under the authority of each of these kingdoms.

But what they didn’t realize was that it was a different kind of slavery, a different kind of servitude that this Messiah would come to deliver them from. The Bible speaks of the kingdom of darkness, a spiritual kingdom in which Satan rules over those who rebel against God and against His Christ. Jesus is the Messiah who came to deliver his people from the bondage of this kingdom. The Kingdom of God wins over the kingdom of darkness and Jesus is the King in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus was born King to a Kingdom that will never pass away. He is the One who was sent to deliver his people from the bondage of sin and from the punishment that would come as a result. This is the reason that Christ came to earth, to establish his Kingdom and purchase people away from the kingdom of darkness to come to serve him in the Kingdom of God.

I wanted to note one other point that I saw in the scripture for today. In verse 6, Matthew quotes the prophet Micah as he says:

But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.

Matthew 2:6

This speaks of an honor that this tiny town of Bethlehem would have to birth the Messiah, and this Messiah is the one that would lead and shepherd Israel, God’s people.

Yet as I looked back to the original verse that Matthew quoted, I noticed that there was a second part to the verse that I liked and wanted to note here:

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

What I find interesting is the last part. Micah is speaking of Bethlehem and that the Messiah would come from that town. And that Messiah would be the ruler over Israel.

But that new baby, who was born to be the King over his people… where does he come from?

Micah says his origins are of old. His origins are from ancient times.

How is that possible?

Micah is pointing out the reality that this Messiah would come from God Himself. In fact, He is God Himself. He is born new to the world, but His origins are of old. All things come from Him and all things serve Him. He is the creator and He is now also the savior. He has made all things and He will now redeem all things. What a privilege that we have to serve the One who was born King over all.

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