Trinity 18 (Mt 22, 34–46)

Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

“What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”

INI AMEN.

Jesus is the Christ. He’s the Messiah. The Anointed One—that’s what Christ means (Messiah, too). Jesus is Anointed, set apart. Anointed with what? Anointed with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was “conceived by the Holy Spirit” and anointed with the Spirit at His Baptism when He went through John’s sinner’s baptism. Jesus christened, anointed with the Spirit. Spirit in Him, Spirit over Him, Spirit through Him. Jesus has the Spirit without measure. (Jn 3:34)

Since He is Christ, He is Son. That’s what the Father says at His Baptism, “This is My Beloved Son.” That’s whose Son Jesus is. Jesus is also the Servant of the LORD, the One in whom the LORD delights (Is 42:1), as the Father also said, “with Him I am very pleased.” Son and Servant go together. Jesus is both. Jesus is the eternal Son of God, the eternal Servant of the LORD.

Since He is Son and Servant, that means Jesus is also King. As His father David was both King and Servant in 2 Samuel 7: “Tell David, my servant,” the LORD says. But Jesus isn’t just born into the house of David in Bethlehem. He’s also the eternal King, the “King of kings and Lord of lords, the Great, Mighty, and Awesome God,” of our Old Testament reading.

Jesus is the Christ. His death and resurrection prove that. Christ means He’s Son of God, Son of David. The Servant of God. The King. The true King.

((2. What does it mean to be the True King?))

But what does it mean to be King? What’s that all about? It has nothing to do with nations or borders or armies. That’s what the Israelites thought. It’s why they ended up with Kings—bad ones, good ones. David was a good King, but also sinner King, adulterer King, murderer King. Even the best ones fell short.

They ended up with Kings because they rejected their true King. They rejected their Lord, their King, their Shepherd—the LORD Himself. He was the true King and Shepherd. Saul, David, Solomon, and all the rest were just undershepherds, under-kings. They were instruments of the Lord’s own being King. There to point to the true King who was to come, the LORD Himself, “as David in the Spirit said,” that his Son would also be his King, his Lord. “The LORD is My Shepherd” (Ps 23:1), my King, David says.

What does it mean to be King? Even when God’s your King? When the Lord reigns He does so in one way: “Until I put your enemies under your feet.” The Lord defeats and conquers His enemies. To be King means to care for, protect, and defend your people. To wage war. To be just and fair, merciful and kind. “Saul killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Sam 18:7) So also the LORD: slavery in Egypt over, Red Sea crossed, manna in the wilderness, life in the promised land. That’s how the Lord reigned for His people. He saved them and cared for them. That’s what it means to be the True King. King and Savior mean the same thing.

((Transition.))

What about now? The Lord Jesus is still King. He is Lord over all creation. Right now. Today. He’s “sitting at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” Yes, “He will come to judge the living and the dead,” but He is Lord right now. What does it mean for you that He is King, is Son of God, is Savior? What does it mean for Jesus to be your King?

((1. What does it mean for Jesus to be your King?))

Why did David fight the Philistines? Why did the Lord defeat the Egyptians? When the Lord is King, He and His under-kings, under-shepherds, fight against His enemies. And who are His enemies? Your enemies. The enemies of the King are the enemies of His people, and the enemies of His people are the enemies of the King. He saves His people, that’s what Kings do. Christ and King and Lord and Shepherd all mean Savior, and that’s what Lord Jesus is for you.

Your enemies are His, He made them His own. Your sin, your death, even the devil and hell. All those everlasting enemies, Jesus put under His own, nail-pierced feet. He bore your own sins as His own, and He shed His own holy, precious blood to pay for them. He died in your place. He claimed your death as His own. He endured the attacks, temptations, and doubts the devil throws at you. (Are you really a child of God? Your thoughts, words, and actions don’t seem to prove it.) He went through hell for you, too! “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

He rose from the dead, too, and so He “lives and reigns now and forever.” He reigns now for you. Just like He did in Deuteronomy, the King still “loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.” The sojourners were outsiders, people not from Israel. The King brings those sorts of people into His kingdom. You, too. He reigns for you when He clothes you, feeds you, and “will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Baptized into Christ, clothed with Christ the King.” “The body and blood of our Lord will protect you in body and soul unto life everlasting.” (We might end up feeding and clothing others, too…)

There Jesus’ Kingdom comes to you. There He would reign not over you as some wrathful king, but He would shower His mercy, love, and forgiveness over you. He would once again put your sin, your death, your devil and hell under His nail-scarred feet! Here would reign within you, through you “in faith toward and God and in fervent love toward one another.” Why continue living as if you’re running your own show, your own life, your own kingdom and world by putting others under your own feet?

((Conclusion.))

Jesus is the Christ. He’s the Anointed One. He’s Servant. He’s Son of God. He’s Son of David. That’s means He’s King, the true King. But He’s not just anyone’s Christ, not just anyone’s King. He’s your Christ, your King, and that mean’s He’s your Savior. King, Lord, Christ, Shepherd all mean Savior. That’s Jesus in a nutshell. Your Savior.

Your sin, your putting yourself before God and living your life as if you’re better than others, your death, your grave, your devil, your hell—all your enemies!—are Jesus’ enemies. He put them under His feet, at His cross. He still would put them under His feet today: forgiving you, enlivening you, reigning within you, reigning in mercy through you in your daily life. He does that in His Gifts: His Baptism, His body and blood. There He reigns within you to love God above all things and your neighbor as yourself. That’s Jesus being your Christ, your King, your Savior. Anything else is just you trying to be king.

He will reign forever. Be Christ forever. Be Savior forever. He will do it for you. He “will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” After all, JESUS IS YOUR CHRIST, YOUR KING, AND THAT MEANS HE’S YOUR SAVIOR.

INI AMEN.

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