Sunday, May 1, 2011

Of kings and a King - what an uncommon king!

The Royal Wedding of William and Kate, reminded me of kings and royalty down the ages. Kings and leaders have tended to glory in how many people bow down to them. People lying prostrate before them. Absolute power and control over lives. With a few commands, sending people who offend you, to be jailed, tortured or even executed. The pharaohs of Egypt when they died, had slaves and wives killed and buried alongside. To this day in West Africa, chieftains have their slaves killed and buried alongside them. Being waited on hand and foot. An entire life devoted to your service.

Kings have special robes, crowns and thrones, all designed to distinguish themselves from the rest. Their wealth is worn on their bodies. Their homes are called palaces. Their chairs are thrones. Their carts are chariots and palanquins. Their names are titles. They have warriors to guard them - "bodyguards".

Not satisfied with one wife, they showed their prowess by accumulating girls for their harem. Often, these girls were forced into this sexual servitude - not a "One night with the King", romantic movie falsehood. Emperor Akbar of 16th century India, had 5000 women in his harem! I am certain he did not sleep with most of them :).

Their ultimate expression of self-dom is to claim divinity - to claim that they have intrinsic superiority - that they are God.

Orinary people still take great effort in trying to meet a person of power.

In contrast, Jesus came to serve common folk. His miracles were of compassion. To heal and feed people - to meet their needs. He went out looking for people who were divinely appointed to meet him. He trudged roads and paths, his feet got dirty, sweated and was tired. He ate the same foods as the local folk. Stayed in their humble homes. To demonstrate this principle, He even washed his disciples feet! He was sinless and pure. Instead of taking, He gave. Instead of demanding sacrifices, He sacrificed His life for the sins of the world. Instead of appropriating power for himself, he gives us his power to spread the gospel and His kingdom on earth.

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