KING OF KINGS
Read: Psalm72:1-6,Matthew 16:13-20
Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor. May he endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. (NIV Psalm 72:1-6)
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (NIV Matthew 16:13-20)
Study: Scholars call Psalm 72 a “royal psalm,” one that almost certainly originally prayed for Israel’s earthly anointed king. But as the decades and then the centuries rolled by, it became painfully clear that no merely human king could possibly fulfill the hopes that the psalm expressed. The hope rose anew as Peter and the disciples followed Jesus. They saw him as “the Christ,” the true king who could bring justice, peace and righteousness forever. In answer to Jesus’ question, the disciples said people identified him as “John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” That was no insult—those were great, respected names. Yet they fell short of what the disciples saw in Jesus. To what extent can you join Peter in declaring that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God”? What factors shape what you believe about Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, the carol says, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Thank you for rekindling hope in me, and for giving me strength to live beyond my fears. Amen.