22 July 2009
The good Samaritan in the parable of Luke 10.25-37 was a saviour to the man who was going to Jericho, but was robbed and beaten on the way… yet he was not the king of that man. Understanding the difference between the two will help you understand your obligations to Jesus and your response to crimes committed against Him.
It is true that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” Hence the often spoken term: ‘Jesus the Saviour’. When a sinner repents and believes in Jesus, he has received Christ as his Saviour. It is like the man accepting the Samaritan’s help even though Jews consider Samaritans to be unclean and unworthy. However, after that episode, the Jewish man would certainly remain Jewish and not become a Samaritan just because it was a Samaritan who saved him.
So likewise, many receive Jesus as Saviour but remain in the Earthly kingdom of men, culturally behaving and thinking as they did before they accepted Jesus as their Saviour, except perhaps for their efforts to avoid and to repent of sin. In the same way as the victim of the robbers may avoid journeying to Jericho alone in the future and regret that he made that journey alone… so many are called and saved. Indeed, it is God’s desire that all come to repentance and none to perish… hence His patience. Now for the Jewish man who was robbed, to change from being a Jew because his fellows Jews, a priest and a Levite, both ignored him, would depend firstly on his choice to become a Samaritan and for the ruler of Samaria to accept him as a subject. He may renounce his Jewish ways and live as a Gentile amongst the Samaritans… but he would not be able to join the public service of Samaria unless the Samaritan king accepts him as a subject.
In the same way, those who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour can renounce their sinful ways and live as a member of His race, His kingdom… but the offer of citizenship must come from the King. That is why it is Jesus who baptises with the Holy Spirit and fire whilst men like John the Baptist baptise with water. The waters of baptism are like the water and salve that cleansed the wounds of the victim and restored him to health… but did not change his heart and mind. It is the spirit of the Samaritan and his mercy, kindness and love… that is, the fire, that can inspire the Jew to become a Samaritan, and the Samaritan then would have to agree to take him back to Samaria. So likewise, it is with Jesus… His spirit and His fire… His love and His word… change a man from the inside, not the outside, to give him the new birth that he may be a new creation, a new person… born again. In a similar way to a Jew becoming a Samaritan.
Thus Jesus can go from being your Saviour to your Lord when you live under His rules and His ways… in the same way as a Jew can become a Gentile by living like a Samaritan, following their rules and ways instead of the Jewish rules and ways.
But for Jesus to be your King means that you are pledging your loyalty to Him and His kingdom. And taking the example of the Jewish man who was robbed in Luke 10… that means that man would pledge loyalty to the king of Samaria, and if Samaria ever went to war against Judah or Israel, he would fight for Samaria against Israel even though he was once a Jew but no more.
When Jesus is your King, then your first loyalty is to Him and His kingdom… and that also means to His Father and His Father’s kingdom, and you live as a foreigner in any other kingdom. Even if the man in Luke 10 returned to Jerusalem, he would be a foreigner, a Samaritan, in Jerusalem even though he was once an Israelite. The Kingship of Jesus in your life is when truly He is enthroned in your heart, and being enthroned there, it is His wishes, His commands and His will that must come first. No longer is Jesus just your Saviour.
To many who have accepted Him as Saviour, He is like your friendly neighbourhood problem solver. If you have a problem, take it to Jesus and He will help you. After it is done, a thank you will suffice until next time. Oh, you might visit Him and even call on Him every day with more of your problems because He solved the last one so well. However, the test for many comes when Jesus wants them to do Him a favour. Now, will it be convenient or do we have other business to attend to first? When Jesus is only your Saviour, your attendance to His wishes, commands and will is like a favour you are returning to Him… and if you should do anything for Him, He should thank you.
When Jesus is your Lord, you are working for Him and living in His household, yet the problem with that is a lord has servants but a king has subjects. Servants get paid for their services and can have their services terminated. When Jesus is your Lord, you may find yourself doing things for Him – obeying His commands, wishes and will – because you have to, for that is your work as a servant and you can look forward to your wages and even a discharge from His service at the end of a certain period of time to return to your home or your country, like any servant.
However, when Jesus is your King, then obeying His commands, will and wishes is your privilege, not duty, as His subject… and defending His realm and personage is your honour, not duty. For a subject who does not defend his king and realm is a traitor and subject to dishonour. That is why I say a subject who defends his king and realm is exercising his honour. For the King honoured you with your citizenship that you may call His kingdom your kingdom, your nation, your country… and that honour gives you the right to reciprocate with honouring Him in His defence. As such, it is not the duty that inspires a citizen to obey the commands of the king, but rather, it is honour. For to obey your King is to honour Him, but to obey your Lord and Master is to merely have done your duty. For when a person has a king, he is a free man. When a person has a lord or master, he can be a slave. This may help you understand why Paul’s mention of his citizenship so impressed the centurion in Acts 22.22-29. As Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.”
We bandy the term ‘born again’ as if it is a process that can be given to anyone randomly when indeed it is Jesus who decides who may be born again by the Spirit to see and to enter the Kingdom of God as they are baptised with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Jesus Christ is returning as the Son of Man as He said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory… He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.” After that Jesus said (of Himself), “Then the King will say to those on His right…” The nations of the Earth will be judged according to how they have treated “…the least of these brothers of Mine…” that is treated His family members and His citizens as well. For a brother of the King is always a citizen of His kingdom. However, in the Parable of the Ten Minas, there the man of noble birth came back and was made king after sorting out his servants, saying, “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.” Those enemies are his subjects who “…hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ “
So understand then, when Jesus returns He will be the King, and nations of the Earth will be judged according to how they have treated the least of His brothers. However, within His own kingdom, within His own domain… there will be subjects who do not want Him to be King, that is, those who do not mind that He remains “A man of noble birth…” that He remains their Saviour and even Lord in the land… but King? Never! You see, there are those who are in the church who would prefer to serve Jesus as a favour returned to Him for their answered prayers and blessings. There are also those who would prefer to serve Jesus as a duty, like a servant with due wages. For them He should remain only their Saviour and their Lord forever.
However, to have Jesus as their King? Then they would have to honour Him… and place His honour above theirs. You see, when Jesus is only your Saviour or even your Lord, you do not have to take up arms when His reputation is smeared or when He is called a liar, a drunk, a friend of sinners or a false prophet, even a blasphemer.
Like the man born blind, he only had to worship his Saviour… but he never followed Jesus nor defended Jesus from the Romans. No one defended Jesus when He was falsely accused, accosted, bashed, whipped and pinned on a cross to be murdered, not His disciples, nor those who believed Him, not even those who were blessed by Him… for He was only their Saviour, Rabbi and Lord… but not their King. For at that moment in time, the Spirit of God had not yet been poured out and no one – not His disciples or His believers, nor those who had benefited from His ministry – had been born again, not yet.
There were no citizens of the Kingdom of God there that night and day who had the right to save and avenge their King from the plot and conspiracy of murder as a matter of honour and not of friendship or duty.
Here is a point to consider and understand: The high priest said to Him, “I charge You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven.”
Have you noticed Jesus replied that He is the Son of God, but it is the Son of Man who will be sitting at the right hand of God? Up to that moment, the other sons of God were angels… and it was not spirits who were attempting to kill Jesus but men. Jesus never said, “The Son of God will be handed over to be crucified,” but rather, “…the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” As such, the angelic citizens of the Kingdom of God had no legal right to defend Him from those who would crucify Him as the Son of Man that He said He now is without orders from above. The Son of Man is not the King of Heaven as such… the Son of God is. So the King of the angels was not the One who was being insulted, spat on, lied about and being set upon to be murdered. Whatever they would do for Jesus, the Son of Man, they would do as a duty… like they did to other men… ministered to them and strengthened them (see the similarity of the Gethsemane administration and that which Elijah received). But no angels could automatically, that is right, automatically take up the sword to defend Him unless He called on the Father and the Father gave the order… which is why Jesus said, “Do you think I cannot call on My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”
You see, as Son of Man He could call on the Father and have angels defend Him… but the angels could not defend Him spontaneously as they could have if He was being handed over as the Son of God and not as the Son of Man. It was His words that decreed that He would be crucified as the Son of Man and so the angelic host could only watch in amazement.
However, now, right now… there are those amongst men who, being born again of the Spirit, know the Holy Spirit is the Father of their spirits… thus then Jesus, the Son of Man, has brothers amongst men as well. And if those who are born again, who have entered the Kingdom of God and have taken up their rights to be citizens of the Kingdom of God, acknowledge that Jesus is their King and not just their Lord and Saviour… then any attempt of murder, slander or ill treatment of their King is tantamount to a declaration of war unless repatriation and apologies are made. And it is the honour of every citizen to defend the personage and realm of the King from all harm and slander wherever and whenever the evidence of such a plot is uncovered… without waiting for a formal command. For the authority and right to a spontaneous action to prevent, deter and foil any attempt to harm or defame a person’s king is a birthright and honour. The failure to do so is dishonour and betrayal of one’s king, regardless of your kingdom, and is worthy of exile and even death.
So then elect, you can see the course of events and developments that have led you from an unbeliever to a believer, a believer to a disciple, a disciple to a servant, a servant to a friend, a friend to a brother or sister, and a brother or sister to be a lord or king under Jesus… that is, a citizen of His kingdom, born with the birthright to have the honour of defending His person and realm.
That is what it means when Jesus is no longer your Saviour or your Lord only, but He is your King!
And what that means to the kings of this world and the prince of darkness who conspired to murder Jesus is now being revealed!
Our King lives; long live the King!