Advent Midweek 3– “Jesus Our King!” 2 Sam. 17:11-17 & Rev. 19:11-16
Advent Midweek 3– “Jesus Our King!” 2 Sam. 17:11-17 & Rev. 19:11-16
Grace to you and peace from God, our Father, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
The text for our sermon meditation is taken from the book of 2 Samuel and the Revelation to St John.
“Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. 12When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” 17In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.” [2 Samuel 7]
11Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. [Revelation 19]
So far the reading.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
God’s continued blessing be upon us as we gather in this Advent Season to worship our Advent King, Jesus Christ. God give us ears to hear and faith to trust in the One who brings God’s Word to fulfillment at the proper time.
What is a king? A king is a leader of men who serves the needs of those who he rules. We see in this definition a seeming contradiction. On the one hand the king rules over the people. Yet on the other hand the king is to address the needs of those whom he rules. The king is the lawmaker and the benevolent leader. There is a tension revealed in this office of king.
The children of Israel desired a king. Their pagan neighbors were all ruled by kings. They looked at the nations round them and coveted such a ruler. In so doing Israel rejected both the rule of the Lord, and the prophets and judges they received from the hand of their unseen King. In His place, the God of Israel gave His people their kings.
Saul was their first king. He was reluctant to serve, but then grew into the office of king. Yet, his heart did not follow God. Saul took matters into his own hands and usurped the throne of God by offering unholy and unbidden sacrifice. The Lord took His Spirit from Saul and put it upon another man. A man who be after the Lord’s own heart.
The son of Jesse, the young boy David, was anointed by Samuel over and against his brothers. David’s heart sought the will of the Lord and David flourished under the grace of God, as did all Israel. First, as a youth David took on the enemies of Israel. The shepherd of Jesse’s flocks confronted Goliath in the power of the God of Israel. That power was the name of the God of Israel. In confidence bourn of God’s presence in his life, David met Goliath with a sling and five smooth stones. One of those stones was guided by the hand of God and Goliath fell to the ground overcome by the God he had defied.
In time David received the throne of Israel and led the army of Israel to victory over the surrounding nations. The kingdom of Israel stretched from Ammon on eastern shore of the Jordan River, to the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea in the west. It was bounded on the north by the overthrown Syria and in the south by the Red Sea. David consolidated his reign and established Jerusalem as the place for the Ark of God’s Covenant to reside. God built this kingdom for David and gave David peace and blessing during the forty years of his reign as King of Israel.
The God of Israel promised another king who would come from the line of David. As with David, God would choose this King and build for Him an eternal kingdom. The length and breadth of this kingdom would cover the four corners of the earth. It would unbounded by men and angels. The hands that would build this kingdom would also break the power of the enemies arrayed against God and His people. God speaks of this future King in these words.
“13He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.”
In a few short days we will rejoice again in celebration of the birth of this King foretold by God. We rejoice in the birth of the Son of Mary and the Son of God. Jesus is His name. He is the descendant of David’s line who was to be anointed as King over all creation. Into Jesus’ hands the very power and authority of God was placed. That power was not five smooth stones but the very Word of God that took upon Himself human flesh and blood. He came in less than ordinary manner. Born of a virgin and born in a place reserved for the care and keeping of beasts of burden.
Such a birth foreshadowed the mighty work this Son of God would accomplish. He would confront the greatest enemy of man and creation. That enemy was greater than Goliath and unconquerable by the hands of men. It would take the holy hands of God’s own Son to bring this enemy to defeat. Such a defeat is foretold by the words of Nathan.
“When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men,”
Those holy hands of Jesus and his innocent body were to suffer the indignity of our sin. For this is what His Father decreed of His son. If the Son God was found guilty of the sins of men, the hands of men would be set against him. The Son would bear in his body the just penalty of those sins. So it was as St Paul teaches to the Church in Corinth, “For our sake, He made him to be sin who knew no sin, that we might become the righteousness of God.” [2 Cor. 5:21]
Indeed the Goliath of our sin is overcome in the blood of Jesus shed upon the cross. The hands of God were stretched forth upon the cross to exchange the curse of sin for blessing of the penitent sinner. Only our King has this power and authority to declare that justice is served. He decrees the end of judgment is in His holy death. When Jesus cries out from the cross, “It is finished,” he declares with divine authority that sin and death no longer have dominion over this world. This is His throne of grace and mercy. From this throne Jesus rules the world with equity and righteousness. Forgiveness for all sins and eternal life is offered to all.
Through the water of Holy Baptism, then, Jesus reigns as King in our lives. He brings over the threshold of faith and gives us a heart that seeks the grace of God. Like King David we become faithful and penitent followers of the God of creation and redemption. Kneeling before the eternal throne of Jesus we acknowledge and praise our King who died that we may live and lives that we may never die. Such is this holy child of Mary, Seed of David and Son of God. He is our King, our Redeemer and our Life.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.