In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Recently we’ve been looking at how Christ shows he is a king. We saw that Christ’s kingship is demonstrated by his calling a people for him to rule over and by giving his people officers, laws, grace, rewards and corrections. This week I want to show that Jesus is a king because he supports his people in their sufferings.
During a time of intense suffering, leaders must act if they are leaders at all. A leader of a nation who does not care about the distress of his people is not fit to be a leader.
Thus Jesus demonstrates his leadership as king by supporting his people as they suffer.
One example of Jesus showing such support as king is his miracles of healing while he was on earth. We read in Matthew’s gospel: ‘When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases”’ (Matthew 8:16-17). Matthew even connects Jesus’ healing ministry with the prediction that God’s Messiah would show such concern for his people. Jesus truly is God’s chosen king.
Another example of Jesus showing his kingly support for people is when he saw his people hungry. We read: ‘Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way”’ (Matthew 15:32). Jesus is concerned that if he doesn’t provide food for his people, many of them may die and so then proceeds to feed a vast multitude.
But Jesus as king also promises to help his people through all the struggles and temptations they experience. Paul says: ‘No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it’ (1 Corinthians 10:13).
So do you recognise Jesus is a king because he cares for his people and helps them in their suffering? Do you go to king Jesus with your physical and spiritual concerns?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.