Nativity Lecture 2018 01 Finding the King

We have come close one more time to the end of the year and the frenzy or merriment and giving seems to take over the planet. We know that hearts are not usually going through any radical change because by January the giving stops as if there were no people to love. The king whose story we assume feeds the myth of the jolly elf and his magical assistants is everybody’s king all year round. My hope for all of us is that soon we will find and follow him.   We hope these essays will spark our thirst for life

It is a full-bodied picture that emerges of the Son of God when we read of his arrival and infancy. The Christ-child was more like many of us than we can imagine. We know with certainty that Christ was born into trouble, a king for sure, and sought by all, once his identity is affirmed. It is still an exciting venture, to make one’s mind up and go find the king. It is not as if there are no stars in our sky to tell us that the king has arrived, was born, and that it is not a secret where to look for him, and we should go find him.

God-with-us and God-like-us

Sometimes we hear the objection that heroes in the Bible are unrealistic but the Chris-child is more like us in the 21st century than we would like to believe.

He had family like ours, with one notable exception. The man and the woman were uniquely molded, she for childlike faith that she would have a baby with no male contribution, and he for keeping the family secret. “My soul magnifies the Lord … so let it be to me” was Mary’s song and prayer, and Joseph loved her and refused to expose her to public scrutiny. We would not go looking for a king if we learned that he was not the child of his mother’s husband.

The unveiling of the just. A man and a young girl

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Matt 1:18

The two served God with mercy and sensitivity.

And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

Matt 1:19

King in trouble from birth

Here comes trouble:

Having heard about the king Herod and all Jerusalem was troubled.

Matt 2:3

If the monarch is troubled when a new king is born should not the whole population also quake? The king himself – baby Yeshua – is destined for unimaginable trouble and conflict, and especially at the conclusion of his visit.


The pressing demand for each one to whom this news comes – these tidings of a king’s birth – is WHERE IS HE? We have to come into contact with the king. Find him and worship. It must have been difficult for these first-comers to drag themselves away from the king, both as newborn and as declared Lamb of God. When the first disciples asked the adult Christ for his address he had been to Egypt and Nazareth, two places of no distinction for a Jew. If they could have seen the total residence history of the king it would include and finally on the road, and practically homeless.

And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Matthew 2:23

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, John 1:35; and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” John 1:36; The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. John 1:37; Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” John 1:38; He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. John 1:39; One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. John 1:40;