Looking Beyond the Circumstances

“Hark the herald angels sing; glory to the newborn King!”

“O come let us adore him…for he alone is worthy.”

“Let the earth receive her king.”

This week we celebrate the birth of Jesus with songs that call for adoration of the baby Jesus, the King of glory. The King of angels. The King of the whole earth.

Yet the circumstances of Jesus birth and childhood do not proclaim royalty. No. He was born in poverty to a teenage mother. Most likely there was no doctor attending his birth. His first bed is a simple manger in a place that his family does not call home. His first visitors are simple shepherds.

When he is first identified as a king (Matthew 2:1), the repercussions of this identification force his parents to take him and escape to a foreign country where they lived as refugees for a time.

Looking at just the circumstances, no one would call him a king.

Some 30 years after his birth, another ruler announced Jesus as king. Once again the circumstances belie the truth of Jesus’s kingship. He is a prisoner. He is bound. He is beaten. His crown is made up of thorns. When Pilate announces, “Behold your king!” others call for his crucifixion and deny that they have any king beside Caesar (John 19).

Not once in his life did he dine at a royal table. He never held any government position. He did not refer to himself as a king nor did his followers call him “Your majesty.” His circumstances completely hide his true identity.

But he is truly the King.

His glory is such that wise men from the east traveled far to bring him gifts and worship him. And when the Jews and the Romans came to arrest him, they fell at his feet in involuntary worship, an event that surely caught them by surprise and confused them (John 18:6).

At the beginning of his life and the end of his life his biographers point to his true identity – KING OF THE JEWS. This newborn baby may not look like a king, nor is he surrounded by the trappings of royalty. This man on the cross surely does not look like a king, despite the sign claiming that is who he is. His circumstances never pointed to his royalty. But he is THE KING.

So, look beyond the circumstances and come, let us adore Him, for he alone is worthy.

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