KING-SIZE PROBLEMS, KINGLY SOLUTIONS
Christ the King Sunday
Analysis by Mark A. Marius
33Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 37Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Holding tightly to what we have leaves no room to embrace the truth. God’s king-dom is the only kingdom that matters and not acknowledging Jesus as king of God’s kingdom is devastating for us.
DIAGNOSIS: King Makers
Step 1: Initial Diagnosis (External Problem): Looking for a King
Freedom is not free, nor are kingdoms without kings (or rather, monarchies without a monarch). Pilate’s interrogation of Jesus comes about because Jesus and his followers are a threat to power. The worldly kingdoms are being challenged by Jesus. The truth that Jesus proclaims requires those in power to serve, share, and love, instead of decree, amass, and fight. Jesus is not the king anyone is looking for.
Step 2: Advanced Diagnosis (Internal Problem): Worldly Kingdoms
Can we afford to give up our worldly kingdoms for an alien godly kingdom? No. Not by our-selves or without some alien or divine help. We would rather hold on to the little we have than to lose it all. Our worldly kingdoms must survive. Our privileges must prevail. Clout must conquer. Power must prosper. We convict Jesus’ definition of power in order to ignore the problem with our own.
Step 3: Final Diagnosis (Eternal Problem): Not Knowing the Truth
Holding tightly to what we have leaves no room to embrace the truth. God’s kingdom is the only kingdom that matters and not acknowledging Jesus as king of God’s kingdom is devastating for us. How condemnable that we send Jesus meet his Maker in an attempt to avoid such confrontation ourselves. But the truth is meeting our Maker is our only hope.
PROGNOSIS: Kingdom Maker
Step 4: Initial Prognosis (Eternal Solution): We Belong to the King
The good news in God’s kingdom is that Christ the King makes the kingdom. He is the Anointed One in birth, crowned in death, and reigns in resurrection. His life and teaching on earth serve to proclaim to one and all that we are part of this Kingdom.
Step 5: Advanced Prognosis (Internal Solution): We Listen
Step 6: Final Prognosis (External Solution): Thy Kingdom Come…
Hearing the truth about ourselves opens our eyes, our hearts, and our hands to others. We share the same grace, love, and hope that we have received. We remind others that they too are part of God’s kingdom. We proclaim inclusion to those who have been excluded. We speak Christ’s truth to power. God’s kingdom comes to each and everyone of us. It is here where we are truth-fully known.