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What image does the word ‘king’ conjure for you? Perhaps a crown, a castle, an army on horseback, a throne or a table for 100 set with silver fish forks? It is unlikely your mind went to a picture of contemporary power or influence.
In the UK in the 21st century, royals play more of a ceremonial role than anything else; when Prince George of Cambridge was born his destiny looked far tamer than other Georges in his lineage. He will probably represent his nation in far-flung locations, preside over diplomatic banquets and lend his reputation to a few select institutions, but he won’t expect to-the-death devotion from his subjects or anyone looking to him for visionary leadership.
Jesus was first called a king by the wise visitors from the east who had read of his arrival in the stars.
After his arrest he was dressed in royal robes and crowned with a wreath of thorns. A sign above his cross said: ‘King of the Jews.’ For some the idea of this dying carpenter-preacher was a hilarious joke.
It is true that Jesus was not a conventional king: he had no castle; his army had no weapons; his authority was not recognised by any political body.
And yet his kingdom – where and who he rules – continues to this day. He rules with love, compassion and power, granting true freedom to those under his authority. While King Herod’s legacy soon became his small role in Jesus’s life, Jesus is universally acknowledged as a history-shaper.
Will you offer him your allegiance?
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