“What Child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ, the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.”
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Jesus was born a King, even if He wasn’t the kind of king that Israel was looking for at the time. And to see Him there sleeping in His mother’s lap like any baby would do, it might have seemed like He wouldn’t be anything special. But God promised a deliverer who would free His people not from the tyranny of a ruling empire, but from their sins, that hidden enemy that dwells within all of us.
What kind of King is Jesus, then? He was called the King of the Jews by the wise men who came seeking, desiring to worship Him and bring Him gifts, so He is a King worthy of worship and honor and glory. He was mockingly called that by the Pharisees when they sought to have Jesus crucified, so He is a King willing to give His life for His people. The title “King of the Jews” hung above His cross, and that identifies Him truly as who He is, because He has a throne and He wears a crown and He reigns still today, an eternal King.
What else does it mean that Jesus is King? It means He must reign in our hearts and lives. He has the greatness, the position, the authority to rule, and that means we must submit to Him. But He is a humble King who was willing to stoop low and serve. He is a gracious King who forgives and pardons. He is a patient King who gives us time. He is a merciful King who refrains from judgment. He is a loving King who gave everything for us. So may we gladly bow before Christ the King and adore and honor Him for who He is.