An absolute throne – one King

By Dave Henning / December 2, 2022

“If you want to be king, and someone else comes along saying he is the king, then one of you has to give in.  Only one person can sit on an absolute throne.”- Timothy Keller

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ “- Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)

In Chapter 4 (“Where is the King?”) of Hidden Christmas, Timothy Keller notes that the biblical account of the Magi visiting Jesus is unique to the book of Matthew.  Hence, Pastor Keller asks why Matthew preserved this account.  According to Pastor Keller, the Gospel writers chose to tell us something from the life of Jesus for at least two reasons:

  1. because the event actually happened
  2. the account is preserved because it is revealing

Thus, Matthew takes a look at the threat to Christ’s kingdom.  The account of deception and fear, bloodshed, injustice, and homelessness seems all too familiar.  Great evil abounds in our world.  And the full teaching of the Bible identifies the source of all evil – every human heart.  Therefore, in a sense, Herod’s reaction to Christ is a picture of us all.

Consequently, Pastor Keller stresses, in Luke 14:26 Jesus calls for an allegiance to Him so powerful all other commitments look weak in comparison.  Above all, Jesus claims absolute authority and summons unconditional loyalty.  However, this inevitably triggers deep resistance within the human heart.  As the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:7, “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God.”

So, at the core of the human heart the following impulse exists.  That no one tells me what to do.  In addition, we deny the powerful nature of this instinct.  In every heart a ‘little King Herod’ reigns on an absolute throne.  The heart feels threatened by anything that possibly compromises its omnipotence and sovereignty.

Today’s question: What Bible verses keep Jesus on an absolute throne in your heart?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Create Gods of our liking”

About the author

Dave Henning

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