I remember, as kids, playing “I’m the king of the castle”, dressing up as princes and princesses imagining what it might be like to be King or Queen. Standing tall with power and authority, higher than anyone else, telling them what to do! In this passage we see Jesus – a different King – with a different Kingdom.
Words for the Week
John 10:27-50 (selected verses)
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
What about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, “I am God’s Son”? Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
“You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
When Jesus came in the flesh He inaugurated the Kingdom of God. He showed God’s Kingdom power, God’s authority, in the teaching He gave and in the miracles that He did: turning water into wine; calming the storm; bringing forgiveness; healing the sick; casting out demons and raising the dead!
It all sounds very convincing, doing the works of His Father, yet the Jews still questioned Him saying “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” (John 10:24). The miracles that Jesus did spoke loudly, but the Jews didn’t recognise Him, they didn’t believe who He was because they were looking for a different King, one who had political authority in an earthly kingdom. They were disappointed in Him and picked up stones to stone Him and began to plot His death.
Jesus came as the Shepherd King, not lording it over people, but leading, guiding, caring for and nurturing His sheep. He says “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Jesus is a King who has subjects, those who, of their own free will, choose to follow Him. Jesus shares His power and authority with His subjects, showing us how to pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10) and sends His followers out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick (Luke 9:1-2).
Jesus came as the King with authority over sin, sickness and death, the One bringing salvation, new life and resurrection. When Jesus arrived on the scene Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Martha, unlike the Jews, believed in Jesus, saying “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus uses this opportunity to teach about who He is and to back it up with the most amazing miracle. He says to Martha “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” When Jesus tells them to take away the stone and calls Lazarus, he walks out in his grave clothes! Jesus showed that He had power and authority over death itself.
Jesus’ power and authority were given to Him by His Father, to use as His Father directed Him. Jesus used God’s power and authority to raise Lazarus from the dead, but he chose not to use it for Himself, when He was nailed to the cross. Or did Jesus have to use God’s power in a different way, to embark on the journey which eventually led to the cross, did He have to use God’s power to stay on the cross, when He could have called the angels to take Him down?
Caiaphas had a prophetic message for the people when he said “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” (John 11:50) “It is better” is an understatement, as Jesus was prepared to travel this journey, to submit to death, He won the ultimate victory, to save mankind, to bring in God’s Kingdom through the resurrection.
Own it personally
Bill Johnson in his book When Heaven Invades Earth says “Getting us to heaven is not nearly as great a challenge as getting heaven into us”. Think about these words for a moment.
- Jesus wants to be King of my life. So let’s ask Jesus to be King of our lives, here and now.
- Ask Jesus to show you if there are any areas of your life: home, family, private life, money, workplace, community, where You need to make Him king?
- Ask Jesus “what do I need to do to hand over these areas of my life to Him, to be the person He has called me to be?”
- Where do we see the enemy at work in our communities? We want to see Jesus’ authority and power at work bringing new life, bringing salvation. Ask Him what steps can we take to bring His heavenly kingdom in, here on earth?
Speak it Out – Pray and Prophesy
The King Has Come By Eoghan Heaslip
Jesus our Shepherd King,
help us to hear your voice each day and to follow your leading.
King Jesus we want you to be king in every area of our lives and ask that your reign will be manifest in us. Help us to use Your power and authority to help and heal others, so that heaven will be manifest in the communities of our city.
Give us courage and boldness to bring new life and resurrection power to those around us so that we may see your heavenly kingdom here on earth.