Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Listen to the King
What makes a good king? A powerful army? Royal blood? Political influence? Wise advisors? The approval of the people?
How about honesty, truthfulness? Although many might want leaders who always tell the truth, that isn’t always what we get; is it? Many make promises that they can’t keep and maybe never intended to keep. Many craft their words in a way that obscures what they really mean to gain support from those who wouldn’t stand behind the truth. What people want to hear often seems more important than the truth.
When Jesus came into this world as a king, he didn’t come with a powerful army. He came alone, and he even discouraged his allies from using their swords to fight for him. Jesus was a descendant of King David, but it had been centuries since anyone from David’s family had reigned. Jesus didn’t surround himself with the best and brightest. His closest followers were unschooled, ordinary men.
But Jesus rules with one powerful tool—the truth. Often, this isn’t what people want to hear. As the saying goes, “the truth hurts.” That’s especially the case when the truth reveals the darkest corners of our hearts, where selfish desires, envious and angry thoughts, and shameful lusts dwell. The truth of God’s law shines below the surface to reveal how often we fail to live up to God’s demands.
But the truth of Jesus reveals not just our hearts but the heart of God himself. God loves us unconditionally. In love, he punished his perfect Son, Jesus, for the evil in our lives so that he could pardon us fully and completely. In love, he continues to call us to leave behind our sinful thoughts and lives and to trust in his forgiveness and his promise of eternal life with him. That’s why he gives us his Word of Truth—the Bible. And through that message of truth, Jesus moves us to trust him in faith as he rules in our hearts as King.
King Jesus, the truth of your law hurts, but the truth of your love heals. Rule in my heart by your truth. Amen.