Sermon Summary (11/24//19) “Christ the King” (John 12:9-19;
Christ the King Sunday. What does it look like for us to make Christ King? A life striving to be filled with the love of God and neighbor, obeying Jesus, and walking as he walked. When we do that, we are submitting to his authority, making him first in our lives.
Why are we so reluctant to do that? Primarily, we have other things we want to put first: Ourselves, those we love, as teenagers, those to whom we are attracted. (Adam Hamilton admitted one Sunday that as a teenager, there were things he placed first and it had to do with marriage, a reason he got married at 18.) It is easy to place God behind spouse, family, life, and if we are really honest with ourselves, even materialism, but especially self. We are surrounded by idols, or what we make as idols.
Christ the King Sunday is a reminder of how we are to “Order our loves.” In Jesus’ day, kings were big deals. If they said “come,” you came; if they said “go,” you went; they literally held life in their hands. Caesar was king of kings, literally known as “king of kings and lord of lords.” When Christians game Jesus that tile, “King of kings and Lord of Lords,” making Christ King, they were placing their very lives in jeopardy. Yet that is what they did. Every day was Christ the King day. Every day, they ordered their loves to make Christ first.
We have been looking at unique passages from Luke. Today we also look at Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday where he is declared king. We also see a relationship between his entrance and the last of John’s signs, the raising of Lazarus. The Pharisees saw the people’s declaration of Jesus as King directly related to his “sign” of raising Lazarus. They said, “You see, you can do nothing. Look the world has gone after him.” (John 12:19)
John wrote his book using “signs” so that we may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ and so believing, have life in his name.” (John 20:31) These signs were performed 2000 years ago and the people took them to heart (moved their intellectual understanding to a believe in the heart that changed their behavior). That’s our task today, to read, reflect, ponder, meditate on the stories of Jesus that we move our intellectual understanding through intense mental activity that affects the heart. That’s what John means by “believe.” “That you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, and in so believing have life in his name.” More than an intellectual understanding, but behavior changing heart.
We have choices to make. Our reading from Luke is the story of the two thieves, one of whom mocked Jesus, the other who said, “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom.” Jesus replies to him, and to us who so order our loves, “today you shall be with me in paradise.”
So may we make Christ the King of our lives. Amen.