Tomorrow is Christ the King Sunday for most churches that observe a liturgical calendar. It is not an easy topic to develop in a sermon. Is it too triumphalist for our pluralistic age? Is it unseemly for our gentle Savior to be declared as a King? Or are the facts of killings and persecutions of Christian believers around the world overwhelming evidence that He is not King over all; at least not yet. Perhaps, at most, a distant King?
When it comes to declaring Jesus as King, New Testament doesn’t flinch. In the first few years of Jesus’ life, King Herod dispatches ISIS-like thugs to slaughter innocent children. Jesus had already escaped to Egypt; Herod was never a threat. The baby King outmaneuvered the insidious King of Judea.
Jesus our King will not be trapped.
At the mid-point in his teaching and healing career, the Pharisees come to warn Jesus that a despot (again) named Herod is after him to kill him. Jesus doesn’t back down from his mission. He famously says: “Go tell that fox”…I can do whatever I want to do today…tomorrow…and I’ll finish my agenda on the third day. (Luke 13:32)
Jesus our King will not be intimidated.
At the end of his life, Jesus is killed as a pretender. The sign on his cross read “The King of the Jews”. In hindsight, from the government’s point of view, it was a mistake to display that sign; it was a Roman government gaffe which famously told the truth: He really is the King. And he rose from the dead.
Jesus our King will live forever.
Our Risen Lord King met the consummate Syrian terrorist Saul on the road to Damascus and turned his heart, won him over, and sent him out to on a life-long mission. Saul/Paul was now the new subject/servant of the reigning King of Kings, Jesus Christ.
Jesus our King will not be overcome.
We can use this Good News today because most of the news today is bad. We have a message of truth and hope that is to be declared to groups and crowds however small or large. Our King Jesus will not be stopped. His Kingdom advances. Even now, as reports come in from the mission field, Islamic terrorists may be getting the headlines, but our King will get the glory. As it turns out, more Muslim people are coming to Christian faith now than at any other time in history. Muslims are sick of Islam and the Spirit of our King Jesus is sweeping them into His Kingdom.
In one interview from last year, missiologist pioneer David Garrison tells us: “We are in the midst of the greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in history. I don’t think the church of Christ is aware of this. Even though it’s minuscule when you look at 1.6 billion Muslims—less than 1.5 percent of Muslims have been touched by the gospel at this point—we’re still seeing 84 percent of all movements that have ever happened are happening right now.”
Jesus our King will not be defeated.
Christ the King Sunday is the time to declare this fact without fear, hesitation, or intimidation.
Jesus Christ is King of Kings.
Canon David has over 35 years of local congregational ministry, diocesan and national involvement, leadership, and ministry experience and is the founder of Leaderworks. He was the founding Rector/Pastor, Christ Church, Plano and currently serves as the Strategic Leader and Dean, Diocese of C4SO.