God As King
I have been reading N T Wrights marvelous Simply Jesus and would like to share a few reflections on it.
N T Wrights main premise in both Simply Jesus and How God Became King is that in Jesus God is becoming King of this world of this life. Life should look different if God really is King and it’s not just same fanciful saying. If God is really King this world, this life, our life should look different from before. The Hebrew prophets all hint at God coming to rule this world our life.
Isaiah says And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. (40:5, 52:8) This and many more Old Testament verses claim that God is coming and you will see him, he will rule and life as we know it will never be the same. N T Wright claims that Jesus was going about showing people this is how it looks when God is in charge. The kingdom of God looks like a mustard seed, the return of a prodigal, a wedding feast, a party where the least among us our guests of honor. Jesus parables’ communicate Heaven appearing on earth.
Many of the psalms sing of God becoming King.
The Lord is King forever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.
Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings[c] of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted.
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
These are only a few of them. If we take this serious and see that in Jesus God became man to show in word and deed, in his life, crucifixion, and resurrection what it looks like when God becomes King than it should mean our life is different. No longer are we at our center, no longer are our wishes and whims what powers our life, but the will of God is what should and will shape our lives. If God is King that means we are not. If God is the center of the universe, we are not.
This is something each of us needs to ask ourselves. Is God really King of our life? Before we start questioning whether our nation is ruled through God, we need to wonder, examine, wrestle, question whether God is in charge of our lives. Are we letting God have sovereign rule over our lives or are we still trying to control and maneuver our lives in the ways we want our life to be. Are trying to control our lives? If we profess Jesus Lord with our lips yet our hearts and lives are far from Him is He really Lord? Our lives should be different if call Jesus Lord and Savior of all.
As Bob Dylan said, “’I am the Lord thy God’ is a fine saying, as long as it’s the right person who’s saying it.”
If God is our King than His commandments are how we should live our lives. It comes down to loving your neighbor. You don’t choose who you get to love. Jesus never made a list of people we are to love and another list of people we don’t have to love and another list of people not to love. No! Jesus said love and forgive always to everyone. Jesus didn’t stutter. Jesus says love and if He is Our Lord than we love. It is that simple. Not always easy, there are people who makes it hard to love them, but that doesn’t free us from loving them. That, I believe, makes it more imperative to love them.
N T Wright writes, “When God acts it will be not only to rescue his people, but to establish sovereign rule over the whole world. God will finally be in charge from one sea to the other, from the River to the ends of the Earth. And what will it look like? Like a humble figure, ridding into Jerusalem on a donkey.”
I pray for you and me that God will increasingly be Our King that God will lead us into his way, light, and truth and each of us will be Images of God to the world. I pray that God will use us to manifest the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. I pray that we will live out the commandments of our God Our King and love everyone!
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