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This Baby was Wrapped in His Kingdom to be Placed on His Throne
By Dr. Don
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]When baby Jesus was born he was bundled tightly in swaddling cloths and placed in a manger (Luke 2:7). Little did his parents realize that when he was born he was already a tiny king, wrapped in his kingdom preparing to be placed on his throne!
Christmas is not merely a story about a cute baby sleeping in a straw-filled cattle trough. There’s really nothing sentimental or particularly romantic about this natural birth. Millions have entered the world like Jesus did. The unnatural thing is that Christmas is the story of the birth of a king; actually a record of the birth of THE King. With this little King comes God’s majestic, glorious, all powerful kingdom.
This kingdom comes by stealth. What Mary, Joseph, and the others saw was an infant boy who cried for food, sucked his mother’s milk, burped his tummy clear, crinkled his little face, and pooped in those swaddling clothes. Nope – no Huggies or Pampers then. When born, he looked human, acted human, smelled human, sounded human. Even though Gabriel briefed young Mary about her baby and Joseph was told by God how special Jesus would be, this baby was just that – a human baby. At least from what they could tell. There was nothing glaringly odd about him on the day of his birth. Contrary to religious pictures and cartoons, Jesus’s face did not glow in the dark, nor were his hands clasped in pious prayer, nor was there a fluorescent halo hovering around his head (besides, how could a baby sleep with a glowing ring on his head?) So far, that day was rather normal as far as birthing a human baby goes.
Yet, inside of him and from the outside of him resided the fullness of God’s kingdom. Clothed in his humanity was the power of the universe (Phil. 2:6-8). The unseen God was manifested in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16), but will not be recognized until it was time.
There were hints this would happen. Israel understood that when the specially anointed man from God became the king he would be quite a bit out of the ordinary. The read, heard and even memorized things about the future king who would save God’s people and set up God’s utopian kingdom. Some of the promises predicted that:
- He will ascend to a throne next to God (Psalms 47, 93, 96, 97, 99).
- He will rule as prince of the kingdom of peace (Isa. 9).
- He will defeat evil and rule with perfect justice and righteousness (Isa. 32:1).
- He will rule the entire world, over all nations (Ps 2; Psa 110; Isa 11; Dan. 7:14).
- He will have supernatural abilities (Micah 5).
- He will save His people once for all as their Redeemer-king from King David’s family.
- God’s people will be united together again in Him.
- His kingdom will never end and cannot be destroyed (Dan. 7).
- God will be center of the kingdom and of the hearts of its citizens.
There were many more promises and predictions. Had word leaked out and ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, and all the other major world media outlets came to see this little king they would have been super disappointed. Probably even disgusted. Far worse than the great disappointment of Geraldo Rivera’s uncovering Al Capone’s Vault (some goofy history you can read about here).
Matthew’s Christmas Day account is buried nearly fifty sentences into his record: “And he (Joseph) kept her (Mary) a virgin until she gave birth to a son; and he called his name Jesus” (Matt. 1:25). Let’s put this in our terms, “Ho hum.” Birthdays were not really that special. In that day you were not inclined to celebrate the life of your child until he or she had made it past the first major milestone of life, around two or three years old. She gave birth to a son and he got a name. There’s no Christmas caroling here.
Yet, in the chambers of Jesus’ tiny beating heart was the invisible, compacted scaffold from which would spring his Kingdom’s innumerable mansions (John 14:1-2). Though looking at this baby there was no such hint. Perhaps his parents were just happy they had a healthy boy. Healthy enough to give him a name. Infant mortality was super high in those days. I can well imagine Joseph doubting he heard from God at all. I would have doubted. You know? “It’s all in my mind. There is nothing special about Jesus. Maybe the angel was wrong, the vision was wrong, cousin Elizabeth was wrong, and it was all in our imaginations?” Like seeing the man in the moon or an elephant in the cloud? We see what we want to see. Joseph wondered. Mary pondered. It would have been quite disappointing because hope for God’s Kingdom to finally arrive would have been dashed. Again.
What were the characteristics of this promised Kingdom?
- God will save His people with an everlasting redemption where no one will ever perish (Isa. 51:6).
- It would be a realm with a super ordinary reality under God’s loving control (Dan. 4:34-35; Isa. 9:6,7; Micah 4:1-5).
- God’s Spirit will come upon all kinds of people, not merely Jewish people (Isa. 34-35; Jer. 2; Joel 2:28; Obadiah; Zech. 14:3-9).
- God’s rule will not only be external but reign through changed hearts (Jer. 31-32)
- Its geography would extend into a new earth and a new heaven.
- Death would die and the dead will be raised (Hos. 13:14 cp. 1 Cor. 15; 1 Thess. 4).
- Evil and the wicked will be soundly defeated and the redeemed will experience true joy (Zech. 12:8-9).
- The power of the world will be crushed but many unbelievers will turn to God and share in Israel’s joy (Isa. 54-55).
- There will be forever-peace with God and true rest (Zech. 9-14).
- The Lord will be the unquestionable king on that day (Psa. 2; Psa. 47:7).
- It will last forever (Psa. 145:13; Dan. 4:3)
On that Christmas day there was no confirmation this tiny Jesus had any of that on him or in him. As for that moment, as far as dad and mom knew, God had delivered a little gift which they wrapped in what some say was burial linens, and placed their little lamb upon the hay.
And then, BAM! Like some startling and intrusive jolt awakening them out of their silent night came a gaggle of shepherds with unbelievable news! No doubt breathless and sweaty from their jog to the town we can see them with panicked, ecstatic excitement trying to tell Mary and Joseph, the host family, and others what they had just experienced (Luke 2:8-20). Grown men jabbering loudly at once like a bunch of kids what they had heard from the angelic chorale. An angel abruptly appeared, glowing a brilliant white, who gave a super extra-telegram about Jesus! He has good news of great my-favorite-NFL-team-won-the- superbowl-excited kind of joy! This shockingly unexpected visit in the dark night out in the middle of a pasture made the shepherds pee their pants; my interpretation of “terribly frightened” (Luke 2:9).
The announcement was followed up by the sudden appearance of an army of angels who presented the most dynamic music gram, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:13-14). I suspect the shepherds had to change their clothes after that.
What’s the news? Jesus is THE predicted Savior who is the Lord Messiah, that anointed Shepherd King (Luke 2:11) from King David’s bloodline. We can be pretty sure Joseph did a bit more than wonder now, and we know that Mary pondered these words and events and buried them as a treasure deeply into her heart (Luke 2:19). Then the shepherds probably danced like a bunch of crazy, elated, somewhat tipsy football fans all the way back to their sheep, who by the way may have been frozen in a bug-eyed state of shock.
The second main hint we have that this sweet little lamb of Mary was in reality a powerful Shepherd King is from Matthew 2:1-12, which more than likely took place two years after Jesus was born. This is the account of a bunch of wise guys, (no relation to the Three Stooges), who came to pay tribute and anoint the Rising Star of the world. For an excellent treatment of this passage listen to Pastor Ryan’s message on the subject.
The next hint about Jesus being a king who was slowly unveiling his kingdom is found in Luke. It wasn’t until the infant Jesus grew up in stature and with the respect of God and man (Luke 2:52) that this radiant, life-giving, world developing, kingdom creating, super force began to leak through. The four men, enlightened and inspired by God to write the account describes and defines for us the unfolding of this heavenly kingdom come to earth through the person of King Jesus. If you haven’t read about it yet, pick up the New Testament and read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John’s records.
On the first day of Christmas this baby Jesus was wrapped in his kingdom ready to be placed on his throne.
Hold that thought and come back for more tomorrow.
~ Dr. Don[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]