Follow the Christ the king. What! Follow a king who wears a crown of thorns! I know what they did to him. Crucified him! And you ask me to follow him! That’s no way to get a following. Give them someone who turns stones into bread, who leaps off tall buildings to fly through the air with the greatest of ease, whose rule is backed up with military, economic and political might. But a king who says don’t even think of murdering your enemies – love them! And he says, keep your promises and don’t make promises you cannot keep; give help to people because you really want to, not because you will get honoured for it; don’t get hooked on possessions and finances; and all sorts of things like that. And he calls for all-out commitment; not half-hearted following. He talks about carrying our own crosses. He doesn’t promise an easy journey. Yet what’s the alternative? We’ve tried turning him into a warrior king who wages war on non-Christians, a national hero who champions our country right or wrong, a soft-hearted benefactor who gives pleasure and plenty to all who ask. It hasn’t worked. It is not what he calls us to. Maybe we do have to follow the crucified king, accepting the costs, facing the difficulties, and consistently living out the way of love to God and neighbour that he calls us to. It is the way of humility. But remember! The crucified one has been raised from death. He lives. He is God’s agent for a remade world. He stands before us as a personal Saviour and Lord, rescuer and leader. This is where faith comes into its own. Follow the crucified King trusting that he is leading us on to a renewed world and to life in God’s pure realm. Step out in faith and discover as you go the changes God will make in your own life and be part of the change that God is bringing about in the world.
- If Jesus is such a different sort of king why call him king at all?
- Matthew 25:31-46 carries with it the idea of divine judgment. How is that compatible with the idea of God’s love?
- What does God say to you through this passage about the way you should live?
- What strikes you most forcefully about Ephesians 1: 15-23?