Dec 30th, 2018
Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 6 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we are going to conclude our holiday trilogy on the gifts the Maji brought with Gold.
With frankincense and myrrh we attributed significance in hindsight as to why the Maji would have brought these gifts. Frankincense reminding us of the high priesthood of Christ and Myrrh reminding us of the secret reason of Christ’s coming to Earth as a man, to die for us. But, with gold it appears to be pretty straightforward that this gift indicated the recognition of the kinghood of Christ. It’s well known where gold comes from, scripture is full of references to its worth, and history has testified to the same over and over again. One recurring theme throughout it all is that gold generally signifies government or royalty. In Matthew 22 Jesus tells us to “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's” in reference to paying taxes to the governmental authority. And in Matthew 17 Jesus sends Simon Peter to retrieve a golden coin from the mouth of a fish to pay the temple tax. All of this making this podcast topic pretty short, at least on the surface. Though, there’s so much more I want to say here.
I find such symmetry between the three gifts that the Maji brought and the passage in Hebrews 4:14-16, the first two verses relating to frankincense and myrrh so very well, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens — Jesus the Son of God — let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.” It’s at verse 16 that we find gold and our response to our king. A response that is unique to our king, “Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”
I came across a quote this week that I wish I knew the source of, it says, “To the universe at large God’s throne is a throne of majesty; to sinners, it is a throne of judgment; to believers, the presence of Christ at God’s right hand makes it a "throne of grace."” Let’s take a moment to talk about Mephibosheth. When Mephibosheth was five years old word came that his father and grandfather had been killed in battle and they needed to flee because the enemy was on the way. So his caretaker scooped him up to run away and in her haste dropped him; the fall crippling Mephibosheth. Fast forward several years and the leader of the force that killed Mephibosheth’s father and grandfather and then became king finds out Mephibosheth is alive. Alive and living at a broken down old hunting lodge in the middle of the wilderness. The king sends a force to bring him in. Historically when you approach a king you must enter with your head bowed and your stature lower than that of the king, and only then if you’ve been summoned to come before the king. Mephibosheth does just this, he throws himself on the floor at the king's feet.
“To the universe at large God’s throne is a throne of majesty; to sinners, it is a throne of judgment...” We all, all of us are Mephibosheth; sad and lonely in the wilderness, broken and lame. We all, all of us come to God as Mephibosheth did to the king; prostrated on the floor ready for judgement. As Mephibosheth laid there waiting for the judgement of the king, the king called him by name and said, “Don’t be afraid, I intend to show you kindness for the sake of your father…” What Mephibosheth didn’t know, what he couldn’t know was that the king was a very, very close friend of Mephibosheth’s father, and servant of his grandfather. The forces that killed Mephibosheth’s father and grandfather did so against the orders they had been given. And Mephibosheth, whose been living his whole life in hiding afraid of the king and the judgement to come, was doing so based off of a lie. A lie that made him lame and kept him lonely in the wilderness, cut off from his people. All these years all Mephibosheth had to do was come to the king. And when he finally did the king welcomed Mephibosheth to the palace, gave him all the possessions of his father and grandfather, and designated a permanent seat at the king’s table just like one of his sons. An adopted son of the king sitting at the king’s table where no one could see that Mephibosheth was anything but physically whole. And all these years, these lies had kept him from living that life.
We all, all of us are Mephibosheth; from birth sad and lonely in the wilderness, broken and lame. We all, all of us come to God as Mephibosheth did to the king; prostrated on the floor expecting judgement. As we lay there God calls out our name, His intention to show us kindness for the sake of Christ. We then choose to keep our heads pressed onto the floor, unworthy, and eventually crawl out of His presence. Or, we sit up, receive His kindness and take our place at the table.
To this, to our king we come boldly. You know who comes boldly to a king? The king's children. You and I, in relationship with Christ, have become equal with Christ in the eyes of God. We are His children, “Therefore we approach the throne of grace with boldness…” It is because of this, this scripture in Hebrews 4 that I don’t bow my head when I pray. I know it’s a small thing that seems almost silly, but I pray with my head held high coming boldly before my king.
This time of year when we see the nativities, are reminded of the story of the Maji, and see the gold they brought, be reminded that you are His child and can come boldly before His throne as only the child of a king can.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…