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The place for a king in Israel was already on God’s mind way before they, the people, turned on Samuel and demanded that God give them a king, saying, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

For centuries earlier, Moses had already told them, indeed, prophesied that there would come a day when they would ask God for a king.  Moses wrote:  When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses.  He must be from among your own brothers.  Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.

As usual, God had anticipated our actions well before we bring them to pass.  Therefore, it should surprise no one that when Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God, God had already provided the King, our Lord Jesus Himself.  If the Lord Jesus’ title on His robe and thigh was ‘King of Heaven and of God’… then any teaching that says you and I are born again to be a king and a lord is in error.  But the title on the thigh of the Lord Jesus is ‘King of kings and Lord of lords‘, which means that when you acknowledge Him as Lord and King, your Lord and King, then you too can be a lord and king.

How does one get to such a ‘vaunted’ place that you may know you are eligible to be a king and a lord of Jesus Christ’s empires?  The qualifications are straightforward and simple… even Moses spelled it out for the Israelites… He must be from among your own brothers.  So to be eligible for kingship under Jesus Christ, you must first qualify as His brother, who is one who hears God’s word, obeys it and does God’s will.

The moment the eleven did not respond to the messages of the women, they had for that moment disqualified themselves as His brothers, for they did not hear the word or obey the word, nor did God’s will for them at that moment, for they did not listen to Jesus.  As such, they remained His disciples, servants and friends. 

In Matthew, the Holy Spirit referred to them as the eleven disciples and again in Mark… Then the disciples went out…  And when Jesus greeted them at the lake where they had been fishing, He called them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”  Not once was the term ‘brothers’ used after they had not responded to the invitation.  The Holy Spirit could not say, “His eleven brothers,” in Matthew 28.16 or, “Then His brothers went out…” in Mark 16.20, nor did Jesus call out to them, saying, “Brothers, haven’t you any fish?”  The term ‘disciple’ is lower than a servant, for a disciple is but a servant in training… as the centurion told Jesus, “I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

Well, Jesus could not say that of the eleven, so the Holy Spirit could not even say, “The eleven servants,” in Matthew 28.16 or, “Then His servants went out…” in Mark 16.20.  As for being called a friend by Jesus… beware, for did He not say to Judas, “Friend, do what you came for”?

You see, when Jesus called out to them in the boat, saying, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” they were doing what they came for… for it was Peter who said, “I’m going out to fish,” …and they said, “We’ll go with you.”  So they went out and got into the boat…  Jesus did not send them.  On the contrary, He told them when He was eating with them, “I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high,” the first night when He stood amongst them (resurrection evening).

A servant then is not only a fully trained disciple, but an obedient disciple, one of whom Jesus can say, “I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  How many of us can He call His servant?  A friend of Jesus means nothing unless you are already a servant, for to be called “Friend” by Jesus you only need to be His betrayer.  So those seven who were in the boat fishing in Galilee in John 21, were they servants who were His friends or had they already betrayed Him too?

When Peter stood up in Acts 1.15-16 among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, “Brothers…” they might have been Peter’s brothers, but were they Jesus’ brothers?  No, not at that moment.  So the launch in Jerusalem in Acts 2 took place with the disciples and friends of Jesus… but not with His servants and brothers.

As such, to be a ‘brother’ of Jesus, you have to be a believer who is discipled and qualified to serve, and in serving you befriend Him and in befriending Him you do not betray Him.  Then and only then the ‘brother’ applies to you because you are listening to the word and doing the will of God.  In truth, we all vacillate from being a believer to a friend and rarely, occasionally, we might be His brother, and then we also can become an unbeliever, just as easily as the eleven who, in their disbelief of the invitation given through the women, in truth became ‘unbelievers’ themselves.

So how do you secure your place as a brother or sister of Christ?  Fulfill the definitions of Matthew 12.50, Mark 3.35 and Luke 8.21, I hear you say.  Good, but that might just make you a brother who would become a pretender to the throne like His half brother, James, did when he stood up with his judgment in Acts 15, which went contrary to three of Jesus’ own teachings.  Indeed, the false prophet is not only one who was given to the church as a gift by Jesus in the fivefold ministry… but one who went beyond Judas and became a true brother, only to betray Jesus as a brother, like Adonijah to Solomon.  You see, Judas was only a disciple, not even a servant, for when Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business,” to the others, Judas was no longer there.

The eleven and many others have qualified to return with Jesus as kings and lords in the first resurrection because in the end they all laid down their lives for Him and His Gospel… but it took a lifetime to make up for their disbelief, disobedience and even betrayal.  For that they paid with their lives as a traitor should, and yet the grace and glory of our God is such that they are forgiven and are returning with Him to reign in the millennium.

So are we saying if we had been there we would not have done the same as they did?  No!  God forbid, for we have the blessing of hindsight and the lesson of their mistakes.  As such, much more, yes, much, much more is demanded of each of us whom the Holy Spirit has elected.

As such, do we figuratively come off this mountain like conquering heroes ready to rule the world?  No, far from it, but rather, we should adopt the stand and attitude of servants who can barely do what they are commanded to do.  Servants of their Brother who is the King.  Servants who are working unceasingly to see their Brother receive the crown, the glory and the kingdom that belong to Him.

That is why, even as early as Deuteronomy 17.16-17, Moses had stipulated that… The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them… He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.  Moses already hinted at the servant king or rather, the king who serves as the hallmark of his power and reign.  One who distributes silver or gold rather than one who accumulates large numbers of them… as well as a king who is not distracted by many pleasures, as wives represented to the Hebrews.  Above all else, the king must know the laws of God like a priest and not consider himself superior.

When Jesus washed their feet, saying, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them,” Jesus was still teaching them as disciples, for He said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher…” but perhaps, just perhaps, as Jesus was washing their feet, they might have thoughts of the first true servant in their ranks… she who had already washed the feet of Jesus with nard and wiped it with her hair.

As disciples, we are to wash each other’s feet, yes, but as His servants, we are to wash His feet and as the Lord has said, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean.”  So what Jesus is waiting for are one and ones like Mary who would wash His feet, that is, ensure that His body, now His church, is cleansed with the loving attitude of Mary, pouring out their nard to do so.  One and ones who are not only His disciples and friends, but also His servants, and not just His servants, but are also His brothers (and sisters).

Believers who would believe, disciples who would listen, servants who would obey, friends who would not betray, and brothers who would serve Him as their King… that is what you and I must become if we are to manifest the fullness of power that is already with us as surely as the Kingdom of God is within us.

It is enough for us to know we are born again to be kings… but what is more important is that the world knows through us what believers, disciples, servants, friends and brothers of Jesus Christ are really meant to be, so that the world may know that truly it is God who sent Jesus Christ.

A believer would have believed the message of Magdalene and the other women the first time.  A disciple would have listened and remembered He said to go to Galilee after He had arisen.  A servant would have gone to Galilee just as He commanded.  A friend would have gone rejoicing, calling out to all who would hear that their Friend is alive.  And a brother would have prepared himself to glorify his Father even if it meant dying for his Brother.  The eleven made those mistakes for you and I to avoid and they are coming back for their reward because they did die for Him.

Now you and I must learn to do even greater… believe the more, listen the more, obey the more, rejoice the more and serve Him the more… to show this life He has given us, the life that is in Him, that is the manifestation of the Kingdom of God amongst us.

So if we prayed and nothing happens, it is because we did not believe enough.  If we practised and nothing happens, it is because we did not listen enough.  If we obeyed and nothing happens, it is because we did not obey enough.  If we rejoiced and nothing happens, it is because we did not rejoice enough.  And if we served and nothing happens, it is because we did not serve enough. 

So where do we start?  From the beginning of course and repent.  For the Holy Spirit has elected us and if we are able to pray, it is because He gave us to pray and more prayers will be given until enough are answered.  If we are able to practise, then more shall be given until enough are successful to confirm what we have heard.  If we are able to obey, then more will be given for us to obey until we are truly His servants.  If we are able to rejoice, then more shall be given until we are forever His brothers and sisters who serve Him, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, our Brother who is in Heaven seated at the right hand of our Father.  And when He is crowned King, we too will be lords and kings. 

If we have this attitude, then we will see what God has provided for His kingdom through His sons and daughters on Earth.  Amen.

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