The Scientific Revolution in many respects stands as a wonderful time of advancement in the history of the world. It is quite possible that no other period can rival it. Prior to the Scientific Revolution, the popular thought was that the earth was the center of the universe and everything, including the sun, revolved around it. Even the church believed this to be true and believed that it was what the Scriptures taught.
Scriptures such as, “He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved” (English Standard Version, Ps. 104:5) were believed to teach that the earth is stationary and is an immovable object. As a result, when people began to believe and say that the earth revolves around the sun, it created great controversy and discord.
A number of scientists played their part in proving what we know today. We know now that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, but during this time it was difficult to grasp the concept. Not only does the earth revolve around the sun, but every single planet in our solar system revolves around the sun.
The sun is so massive that it literally pulls everything toward it in an almost worshipful act. The earth is truly dependent on the sun. The sun appears as the seemingly unchanging element in our solar system. While the planets rotate, as do the moons, the sun is seemingly still while holding all things in place. The planets appear to give honor to the sun as they steadily circle it year after year gazing upon all its beauty from front to back.
The problem with man
The problem with humanity is that we do not want a King. We want to believe that we are at the center and that everything rotates around us. You may be asking yourself at this point why I would say that. Actually, it is what the Bible says.
• Adam and Eve had a King in the garden with them, and they didn’t want one when they ate the fruit.
• The Hebrew people had a King through the wilderness journeys and as they set themselves up in the land of Canaan, but they wanted an earthly king and God gave them Saul.
• Jesus came to earth as the promised and prophesied King of the Jews, and He was crucified.
Unfortunately, history would attest to the fact that we do not want a King in our lives. However, Jesus does not give up in His mission to secure His kingdom.
The rightful King
Now I understand that what was previously stated may sound a little bleak, especially for a Christmas story, but bear with me. To properly give God the most honor, we need to understand some points about mankind and about the loving nature of God.
God knew that He had to come. He came because we didn’t want a King in our lives and sometimes still don’t. It is important to grasp this truth this Christmas season.
While Jesus was a little baby born in a manger, He was also born the Savior of the world. He is Emmanuel, God with us, and He was born to save His people from their sins.
This King was born in the line of David, a fact which is attested to in both Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospel accounts. The Jews kept very strict records of the family lines, and one of the major reasons was because when the Messiah came, He would need to be in a certain family line.
The promised King had to be born in the line of David according to covenant that God made with David in 2 Sam. 7. As a result, during the life of Jesus, He was able to prove His descent from David. In a number of ways, Jesus proved to be the promised Messiah King.
Both Matthew and Luke were written before AD 70. In AD 70, Titus the Roman came into Jerusalem and destroyed Jerusalem and everything in it to include the public records of family lineages. After that date, there was no way to prove what family line you were in.
This is important because Jesus was the only one to lay claim to the throne of David, and it is not possible for anyone to do it any longer with proof that he is actually a descendant of David. Jesus is our King. He wants to be our King. He is our loving King. He is our gracious King, and He will not stop until His kingship is established.
The King of our hearts
God is advancing His kingdom in love, not by force. This is an important element to remember concerning our King. How do we fall more in love with Jesus and begin to honor Him as King? The Bible tells us that our love for God begins to grow when we first see the love that God has for us (2 Cor. 5:14; 1 John 4:19). Our King is a unique King that rules in a way that is other-worldly. He is not like other kings advancing his army in a blitzkrieg to conquer massive amounts of territory quickly. His thoughts are not like ours, and sometimes His ways confuse us.
We didn’t want a King, but oh how He wanted us. This is the Gospel message, and it gives us much to rejoice over this holiday season. God, being rich in mercy, sent His Son. He was a little baby born in a manger. Our King gave up His glory and seat next to the Father to come and dwell in a slum town and seek out people who didn’t want Him.
The people thought to themselves that nothing good could come out of Nazareth (Jn. 1:46), but they were wrong. The King of glory was there. Our humble King coming to us riding on the back of a donkey. Our humble King seeking to wash our feet. Our humble King living to serve us. Jesus’ approach is altogether different. Yet His kingdom steadily advances as He wins people’s hearts.
What is my response?
This Christmas, let us remember our King Who came to save us, and let us celebrate His birth. Let us remember that He came to seek us and still does during times when we may not want a King in our lives. Let His loving pursuit of us impact our hearts and lead us to a deeper devotion and worship this Christmas.
Father, I thank You for sending Your Son. Help me to remember why You sent Jesus this Christmas season. I know there are times when my life would attest to not wanting a King. Sometimes I want to make my own rules, but, God, You are greater and deserving of my life. I need Your help, but, God, I pray that more and more each day I would be devoted to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.