We Have A King, His Name Is Jesus

Text: John 18:33-37        

Introduction

Grace, mercy and peace from him who was, who is, and who is to come.  “We have a Pope!” is the announcement given by the Senior Deacon at the Vatican upon the election of new Roman Catholic Pope.  The announcement is given from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, and for millions it has serious implications.

I prefer the announcement we have hear from this pulpit: We have a king, and his name is Jesus!” 

 1.Today is Christ the King Sunday, the last festival in the Christian Church year.

  1. Today we celebrate that Christ is the king of all creation, we believe Christ existed with God before all creation, and that Christ was the agent of creation.
  2. Today we celebrate that Christ is the ruler of all nations, ruler of all kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers, dictators and religious leaders. They all may have their moments in history and then fade away and die. Only one king outlives them and all the nations of history: Christ the King.
  3. Today we celebrate that Christ is the ruler of individual lives, that the kingdom of God is the primary teaching of Jesus when he lived on earth. Jesus wanted disciples to enter the kingdom.  He told parables about the kingdom and teaching about the kingdom and worked miracles about the kingdom.  Jesus wanted all people to be part of his kingdom.
  4. Today we celebrate Christ’s promised return on the last day, a day of supreme joy for all who call Jesus Lord, an event that has not yet occurred.

II.  In doing so, we look at the lessons for today for further definition of who we are talking about, namely the Son of man, whose kingdom will last forever.

  1. From our Old Testament lesson in Daniel 7, we hear the following words, Verse 9-10: “As I looked, thrones were set in place…“ Verse 13-14: “In my vision at night I looked, and there was one before me like a son of man…”
  2. Our Epistle lesson, (Revelation 1:4-8): read…
  3. Our Gospel lesson, (John 18:33-37) Jesus was brought before Pilate. We know from secular historian Josephus, that Pilate had ruled Judea for some 10 years.  In those years there were no less than 32 riots and upheavals from the people against the dominant Romans.  During the Passover celebration at Jerusalem, a time when the population of the city increased by thousands, Pilate came from his residence in Caesarea along with 600+ armed troops.  Pilate was nervous about this Jesus who had been brought before him.

EG: A pastor mentioned that his grandson told his mother at bedtime prayers, “I don’t need to ask God’s help with anything today.  I’ve got it all under control.”  Everything under control.  Really?

  1. In our gospel lesson, it appears that Pilate’s notion of being in control is challenged. Josephus, a secular historian of the time, notes that in a 10 year period of Pilate’s rule, there had been no less than 32 riots and upheavals in Jerusalem that had to be put down.  Once again his control as the Roman governor is being challenged by the powerful Jewish religious establishment.  They knew how to play hardball according to the world rules.  But you know who really challenged Pilate’s notion of his kingdom?

III. Question: Are you the king of the Jews?

  1. So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus before him and said to him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say that of your own or did someone else.”
  2. Is Christ your king? Take that question personally.  Do you say Christ is King on your own, or do you say it because people around you say it?  Do you say Christ is King on your own or because everyone else is singing, “Crown Him with many crowns,” and you’re just singing along?  Am I a Christian when it is convenient, or am I a convicted follower of Jesus Christ?
  3. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king? For this reason I was born and for this reason I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”  This is the Good News.  We are here, for whatever the reason, listening to the truth Jesus is giving us.  “I am the way, the truth and the life.”  No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Conclusion 

While the 2nd and final coming of Christ is a future event, it is present with Jesus.  The absolution we speak is a heavenly reality.  The Spirit who empowers that absolution is also a present reality.  The citizenship of heaven which is ours is no future reality, but a real and present thing to say about us.  The Word of God says that this is enough for this day.

Lo!  He Comes with Clouds Descending” LSB #336, 1 & 4

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