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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2/23/11 John 6:12-15 The King who Refused the Crown

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

(Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld 1794-1872)
Thoughts: In the Middle East we see ruler after ruler refuse to give up their crown despite massive protests  Muammar al-Gudaffi is 69 years old and says he will die a martyr and see hundreds killed rather than resign.  In contrast to this is Jesus who was offered a crown after feeding the 5,000.  Jesus refused the crown.  It was a common trick for the Roman Emperors to pacify the people-and keep their crown- by giving out bread.  But Jesus gave out bread not to be crowned as a king for a temporary physical/selfish blessing.  Jesus knew his kingship did not depend on the applause of the people.  He was a king whether any recognized it or not.  Today, in a world of protests and turmoil, it is important to know who is on the throne.

Prayer: Lord, you alone are worthy of pride and honor, yet you refused it.  Help me to see to be more humble and satisfied.  Please lead and guide those who are our leaders. 

John Calvin Commentary Abridged: When they sought to make Christ King, here was some ground for what they did.  But they erred in thinking it was up to them to make Him king.  What kind of kingdom do they plan for him to have? An earthly one. We should learn from this how dangerous it is to follow our own opinion and ideas instead of God's word- for our understanding corrupts anything.  His adversaries tried to extinguish his glory- but the cross was a means to the salvation of the world and his spiritual kingdom.  If He had permitted them to make him king here, then he would have ruined his spiritual kingdom. They tried to make him king by force- that is against his will.  Yet obedience is the first step of true worship. We worship God aright when we receive Him as He presents Himself to us.

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