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Gold; Jesus is King

Sermon Series:

Fit for a King

Ryan Kimmel
Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
John 18:33-37, Matt 2:11


Today is the day that the Lord has made. So let us rejoice and be glad in it. And all the faithful said with all their heart, Amen. Amen.

So here we are. Yes, the first week of Advent. And I thought we'd, as we continue through this Christmas season, let's start with a little, a little brain game to get you guys, get your minds working here this morning. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to read part of the lyrics of a Christmas song. And as soon as it registers what song it is, tell your neighbor the name of the song. Okay? You don't got to wait till I'm done reading. Just as soon as you recognize the song, tell your neighbor what song it is. Okay, ready? We'll start very easy. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room and heaven and nature sing. What is it? Joy to the world. Very easy, okay, here we go. If you're in first service, you don't get to answer this next one.

Next one, here we go. I can see me now on Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs. Oh, what a joy and what a surprise when I open up my eyes to see my hippo hero standing there. I want a hippopotamus for Christmas. Did the hippo part not give it away? All right, let's dig a little deeper here. Let nothing you dismay. Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day to save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray. And that is, God rest ye merry gentlemen. Alright last one. Who has gotten none of them so far? Anybody want to call out their neighbor and say not one?

Okay. Last one. Born a king on Bethlehem plain, gold I bring to crown him again, king forever, ceasing never, over us all to reign. And that is a line from We Three Kings. Did you know that the song We Three Kings is of course based off the story from scripture where baby Jesus or the child Jesus is visited by, well, we three kings, although the Bible doesn't say they were kings and the Bible doesn't say there was three of them. So it's wrong on two accounts. What we have is a visit from what the Bible says the wise men or the magi doesn't specifically say they were kings, although they do give Jesus a kingly gift in the gift of gold. And we're going to get into all the gifts given in this series, but make no mistake about one thing. These wise men knew that Jesus was a king. Matthew 2, verse 2 says this, says, when they came to Jerusalem, they asked, where is he who has been born the king of the Jews. For we saw his star when it rose and we have come to worship him."

Now, they came with a kingly gift of gold, but here's the reality. I think you don't have to be a Christian. I think it's fairly common knowledge to know what the three gifts were that the wise men gave. Say it with me. Gold and frankincense and myrrh that comes right out of scripture. Matthew chapter 2 verse 11 says, and going into house, they, the wise men, they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. They did what they said they're going to do. Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Now, if you listen to the full lyrics of the song, We Three Kings, it says something interesting about each of the gifts that were given to Jesus.

The song, what it does, it actually picks up on something that theologians and commentators have been doing for hundreds of years. And that, what they did was they look at the gifts given to Jesus as symbolic of unique aspects of who Jesus is. Gold represents Jesus as King frankincense points to Jesus as God and mer points to Jesus as Savior that's what we're going to be doing with this series over the next three weeks today we're gonna be looking at how gold signifies Jesus as King next week probably the most controversial of all of the messages we'll look at how frankincense pulls out the reality that Jesus is God and then pastor Kevin Harney will join us in a couple weeks and teach us on how Murr shows us that Jesus is Savior.

But I need to say one thing and I need to make it very, very clear. Let me make something very clear. Otherwise, my Presbyterian friends will get all over me. So here's what I want to say. The Bible never actually draws that direct connection. The Bible never says gold means king. Frankincense means God. The Bible never actually says that. That's something commentators and Christians have done out of tradition over the centuries. But Jesus as King, Jesus as God, Jesus as Savior are very profound themes in Scripture. So we're going to have a little fun with the gifts as we look at these very real aspects of who Jesus is. But I do need to make a mention the Bible never draws that connection, although the Bible does say Jesus is King God and Savior as we'll look at. So today, the gift of gold and how it points to Jesus as our King. Would you please turn in your Bibles to John chapter 18. John chapter 18, we'll look at verses 33 to 37.

Now listen, I know that it's Christmas time. I know here we are the first Sunday of Advent, but rather than looking at the birth of Christ, what we're going to do here today is we're going to look at the end of Jesus' life, actually just hours before he is killed and crucified, when during his trial, Jesus is brought before the governor of Judea, a man I'm sure whose name you've heard before, Pontius Pilate. Alright, so as you turn in there, here's the scene. You really got to get the scene in your mind here. Jesus has been arrested. He's been falsely accused of blasphemy and trying to start a revolt against Rome. Remember Rome had occupied the land. And so what the, so the Jewish religious leaders, they whip up the crowd into a frenzy and the Jewish leaders with this mob, they bring Jesus to the governor during this like fake trial.

Why do they bring Jesus to the governor? Well, it's because they wanted to put Jesus to death and they couldn't legally do it. They needed the occupiers. They needed the ruling body to consent to the capital punishment for Jesus. So they bring Jesus to pilot because they want pilot to sentence Jesus to death. And so pilot is standing there and he's got these religious leaders pressuring him. He's got the mob that's been whipped up to a frenzy. And then he has this man, Jesus, standing here, and Pilate's trying to figure out what he's supposed to do. And so what he does is he pulls Jesus into his headquarters and he wants to talk to Jesus to find out what's going on. And that's where we're gonna pick up in our story. So would you hear God's word?

John 18:33-37

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

This is God's word. Let's pray and we'll continue. Let's pray. Father God in heaven above, Lord, we thank you for the start of Advents, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, your son and our savior. Father, we ask here now by the power and presence of your Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, would you be with us now as we look and see that Jesus is not just born, but he's the newborn King. And it's in his name that we pray. And everyone said, amen.

All right, church, here we are. Week one of Advent, and as we look at today's passage, here's a main idea that I want you to bring throughout the entire Advent series, and it's this. Here's your main point for this morning.

King Jesus deserves everything from us, yet He gave up everything for us.

And to drive this point home here this morning, as we look at our passage, just two points I want to draw from Scripture here this morning. It'd be these two.

1. Our King doesn't answer our questions, rather He tells us the truth.

And by the way, that's better. Our King doesn't answer our questions, rather he tells us the truth.

2. Our King doesn't give in to pressure, rather, He fulfills his purpose.

And Church, before we get going here, let me just say one thing real quickly. the notion of Jesus as King really just mean to you that Jesus has some sort of authority, but it has no bearing on your life.

When we talk about Jesus as King, that means he's in charge, not just of our destiny, but of our daily life.

Daily, we lay down everything before him, just as those wise men do. We bow down and worship him. We do this not monthly, not weekly. We do this daily with every moment of our lives. So when we talk about Jesus as King, please remember that means he's in charge, not us. And so, in our world, we don't trust people who have authority. We don't trust mainstream media, and we are increasingly losing trust in our government leaders. Why so much loss of trust? Well, it's because we don't think they're telling us the truth. And it's hard to trust those who we don't think are telling us the truth. And yet, here's one thing our passage tells us. Jesus, what he does is tell us the truth. This is why we trust him.

1. Our King doesn't answer our questions, rather He tells us the truth

So let's look at our passage here. Pilate calls Jesus aside. Remember, religious leaders pressuring him, the mobs in a frenzy. Pilate calls Jesus aside and he says, are you the king of the Jews? And Jesus, in perfect Jesus fashion, answers his question with, you guessed it, a question. But I'll tell you now, the power behind the questions Jesus asks, we always underestimate. Something very profound is going on here. See, we think that Jesus is avoiding the question, but by doing this, what Jesus is doing is bringing out deeper levels of truth. So Jesus responds with a question, not because he's trying to divert the question, not because he's stalling and not because he doesn't know the answer. Rather, Jesus answers a question with a question to get us to think and not just think, but think deeper.

We so often come with just surface level questions, but the wealth and knowledge and wisdom of Jesus is rich and deep and he wants to bring us there. He doesn't answer our questions. He tells us the truth. And so when we ask him a question, he responds with the truth to bring us deeper. So pilot says, are you the king of the Jews? And Jesus is like, so are you asking me because that's a question for all of us. Your knowledge of Jesus, is that something you've found? Or is that something you got from someone else? Too often in our world, we are developing our theology from snarky memes. We're getting our notion of Jesus from the comment section on social media, or our news outlets or podcasts, rather than diving into scripture and see who Jesus himself has revealed himself to be. So Jesus says, where'd you get this from? Are you asking or do you get it from someone else? And so Pilate, because Pilate's not in a posture to listen, he immediately snaps back and says, am I a Jew? Am I a Jew? I don't know you. Your own people brought you to me. I don't know anything about you." And then he asked Jesus this powerful and very important question. It's a question that really illuminates what's going on here.

Pilate asked Jesus, what have you done? And I love how Jesus responds. I just love how Jesus responds in verse 36, my kingdom is not of this world. He's not answering a question. He's telling the truth. That's what Jesus does. He says, if my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting that I might not be delivered over to the Jews, but my kingdom is not from the world. It's like Jesus is saying, I am a king in ways you cannot begin to comprehend. You only think about kingdoms through your earthly way. I have a better and bigger and more spiritual way. Jesus says, I don't play by your rules. I'm not here to destroy cities or to oppress people. And then Jesus shares what he is here to do. But check this out. You have to remember the context here. Pilot is trying to decide whether or not he's going to give Jesus the capital punishment Pilate is trying to figure out am I gonna put this man to death or am I gonna let him go? Pilate seems like he's the one in authority, but yet Jesus is the one who's in charge Jesus will not get bullied here. This leads to our second point.

2. Our King does not give in to pressure, rather He fulfills his purpose.

So Jesus says, my kingdom's not of this world. And then Pilate, who still does not see the spiritual significance to what's happening, pressures him more, but Jesus does not give in.

Look at verse 37. Then Pilate said to him, so you are a king. And Jesus answered, you say that I'm a king. Okay, now we need to time out here. Like, this is such an important passage that people use to try to say that Jesus is lying or Jesus never spoke the truth or that Jesus never said he was king. It's because people don't understand what's actually happening here. Okay, so Jesus says, you say that I'm a king. See, listen to me. Jesus is not avoiding the question and he's not giving a non-answer. Let's make it clear. Let's make it so clear. Jesus is not denying that he's a king. There's something much larger and immediate happening here. You see, what was going on here was Pontius Pilate was caught in a terrible spot. See, Pilate, he wants to appease the crowd. He's being pressured by the cultural religious leaders at the time, but he also does not want to condemn Jesus if Jesus is innocent. And so Pilate is pressuring Jesus to give him a clear answer. Pilate wants Jesus to say the words, I am a king. And you know what I'm willing to bet? You want him to as well. You want Jesus to say, I am king. You want Jesus to say, I am God. You want Jesus to say, I am a Savior. When Jesus is bringing out something so much richer and deeper than just these surface level answers. There's a profound moment going on here with literally all of humanity hangs in the balance. You say that I'm a King.

Now listen, Pilate wants Jesus to say the words, I am a king. Why? Here's why. Because that would make Pilate's job a whole lot easier. If Jesus would just say the words, I am a king, then Pilate would have his proof to accuse him of staging an insurrection against Rome and be able to hand him over to death with a clear conscience. But Jesus isn't going to play ball here. Jesus doesn't give in to pressure. Yes, Pilate had the power to hand Jesus over to death, and it may seem like Pilate has all the control here, but he doesn't. Jesus is the one. Jesus is the one in control. Jesus is the one who's going to tell the truth. He's not going to answer questions. Jesus already said if he wanted to put a stop to this, he very well could have. He could have called down angel armies to stop it right then and there if he wanted. But Jesus, because He's in control, He's allowing this to continue because that is Jesus' purpose. Jesus is on mission, fulfilling His mission. This is why He was born. To die on the cross for our sins. Jesus is allowing this to continue because he is fulfilling his purpose. He is fulfilling his mission, which he was about to do in a matter of hours. So Pilate says, so you are a king. And Jesus says, you say that I'm a king. Again,

Jesus doesn't answer our questions. He tells us the truth. He doesn't answer Pilate because he does not answer to Pilate.

Pilate says, so you're king then and Jesus is like, if you say that, if that's what you say, and then Jesus gives this beautiful, epic response. And Church, if you think this passage sounds too much like Easter, let me just say right now, this is a Christmas verse if there ever was one. Look what Jesus says at the end of verse 37. Jesus says, for this purpose I was born, and for this purpose I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. Church, our King doesn't give into pressure. Rather, he fulfills his purpose. And you notice, Jesus puts this in two different ways. He says, for this purpose, number one, I was born, and for this purpose, number two, I have come into the world see I think Jesus is pointing both both to his humanity the fact that he was born a human child but he's also pointing to his divinity the fact that he came from heaven to the earth that he came into this world this is why we call Jesus both God and man or as theologians have said throughout the ages he's the God man the God man is represented in that little baby in your nativity set.

Now, if you've been at Peace before, you've seen this picture. I showed it before, but this is one of the nativity sets that my family has up in our house. In fact, this one we have set up all year long in our display case. This is a very special nativity set to me. My grandmother hand-painted this set. And so you'll know which one of my children is the favorite because that's the one who will get this when I die. So my grandmother hand painted this set and we have it set up all year long. And when I look at this little child, yes my grandmother painted a Scandinavian child. Jesus was much more brown than what this is reflected of. But either way, that child and the one that you have set up, that's representative of the King. That's the God-man. That's the one who left heaven to come to earth to save you and to save me. This is the Son of God who left His throne in heaven to be born a baby boy in that little manger. He left a seat of gold surrounded by angels to be born in a manger of straw surrounded by farm animals. And He did this for you, and He did this for me. This is our King. He's our newborn King. And let me tell you, our King doesn't answer our questions. Rather, He tells us the truth And second our king doesn't give into pressure. He fulfills his purpose

So back to our story what happens? Well, Jesus is before Pilots and Jesus could have given pilot answers to get out of the situation to save his own life He could have said no governor. I'm not a king. I don't know why i'm here. I'm completely in this They're doing this to me. Jesus could have gotten out of this, but he doesn't. And when we see this interaction, people want to say, Oh, Jesus is avoiding the question. Are you kidding me? Jesus could have gotten out of that situation either by calling down angel armies or given the answer pilot wanted to hear avoiding the question, not in the least our King, he's embracing his purpose in this mission. In this moment, his purpose was to bring the truth, the truth that he came to die for the sins of the world, for the sins of his people. And so we all know what happens is that Pilate gives in to pressure, and he sentences Jesus to both torture and crucifixion. And Jesus, our King who deserves everything from us, gave up everything for us. Christ died on the cross for our sins, taking our punishments. The punishment for our sins, the punishment our sins deserve.

I wonder, how many times have you seen those movies where you've got this king in his shiny armor, sitting on his high horse, sitting on some hill, wearing armor that will never actually see battle as this king oversees a war happening of his own soldiers fighting battles. You ever seen this? I tell you what, that couldn't be the opposite of our Lord. That is so the opposite. See, Jesus stepped into our place. He left his high horse, he left his throne in heaven, stepped into the battle to fight it for us, to take the victory over our sins. Jesus stepped into the world to win us back, and that first step was being born at Christmas So that nativity scene you best believe that means something That means something amazing For your daily life and for your destiny Jesus being born at Christmas This is our King coming to save us in The King who is in the cradle in Bethlehem is the King who would be on the cross in Jerusalem Hanging there to win us back.

So let me leave you with one challenge as we prepare our hearts for both the Advent season, but also communion here this morning. This Christmas, This Christmas, don't listen to the lies of our culture. Don't listen to the ads trying to sell you something. Don't listen to your emotions in the heat of a moment. Don't listen to that inner voice that wants you to believe that what you've done makes you beyond saving.

This Christmas, listen to the voice of truth, the voice of your King.

When things come and it seems confusing, or things come and it strikes fear into your heart, or you're just filled with anxiety because of the quote-unquote holiday. Don't listen to any of that. Listen to the voice of your King, because that's the voice of truth. Jesus says, everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. In our world, to our world, this must be one of the most offensive things that anyone could say, yet Jesus says it to the person who has the power to put him to death and by extension the Holy Spirit says this to us all. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice, the voice of Jesus. So church, listen to him. Listen to his voice. Listen to his teaching. Listen to him and follow him.

And so one last time, let me give you lyrics of a song, see if you can figure out what song it is. Again, as soon as you know it, share it with your neighbor. One last time, here we go. Born by people to deliver, born a child and yet a king, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring. And that song is Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. Church, during this Christmas time, as you listen to Christmas songs, here's what I want you to do. As you listen to Christmas songs, I want you to listen to how many Christmas songs and Christmas carols actually talk about Jesus as King, because it's all over the place. And whenever you hear that, I want you to think during this Christmas, Lord, this is a call for me to listen to the voice of my King, the voice of truth. And as you listen to the voice of your King, be reminded that King Jesus deserves everything from us, yet he gave up everything for us. Amen. Would you bow your heads that we might spend a moment preparing our hearts for communion?

Father, we come before you, and just like those wise men did, we want to bow down and worship our King. Father, we come before you here and now, thankful yet again that we can gather as your people. Father, that we might be reminded of the gospel as we touch, taste, and see the gospel through communion. Father, I pray, Lord, as your sons and daughters, we would take this meal with grateful hearts, reminded again that our King came to save us and it started on that Christmas morning. So Father, I pray now by the power and presence of your Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, would you be with us now, illuminating in our hearts, reminding us again of the great sacrifice of our Lord as we receive with thanksgiving the gift of communion. It's in Jesus' name we pray. And everyone said, Amen. Amen.

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