“Jesus Dethrones Illegitimate Kings” – Matthew 2:1–12
Here now, the word of the Lord from Matthew 2:1-12.
2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God endures forever.
The classic children's story by C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is a story about a rightful king who reclaims his throne from an illegitimate ruler. For far too long, if you're familiar with that story, the Land of Narnia had suffered under the tyranny of the White Witch, a woman who claimed to be queen. Now, as the story goes, she had a pretense behind or supporting her claim to be queen. We find out that it was because the Emperor Over the Sea had given her every traitor as her lawful prey so that for every treachery, she had a right to kill. So, as Mr. Beaver points out in that great confrontational scene, that's how she came to imagine herself a queen because she was the emperor's hangman.
Well, the citizens of Narnia in this story want a new ruler, partially because of how cruel the White Witch is, but partially because they also know that she is not the rightful ruler, she is not the rightful king. So in the beginning of that story, as rumors begin to spread through Narnia, that the rightful king, the true king, Aslan, is on the move. Well, that begins to stir a thrill of hope as the weary world rejoices that the rightful king is coming to claim his throne.
Now, as we consider this story that we're looking at today, the story of Jesus Christ coming into this world, certainly it's beyond our wildest dreams that God himself would come into this world. Yet, unlike The Chronicles of Narnia, this isn't a fantasy story. Certainly, this is a story that is for children, but also for adults. It's not just a children's story.
The coming of Jesus Christ into the world is a story of how God's only son came to claim and reclaim the rightful rule and dominion and authority that God himself has over his creation. A rule that was for far too long in the hands of sin, death and the devil. Which reigned over us, had a dominion over us, had a tyranny over us. Certainly there was a pretense for this, there was reason for this is, because of the curse of sin. So that when Jesus Christ comes into the world, he knows that in order to claim his throne, he must do so by dethroning and deposing all illegitimate kings who do not have an ultimate claim to our Lord's kingdom.
Our big idea is we're looking at this story then, is that Jesus dethroned illegitimate kings.
We are seeing here in this story, Matthew was so good in the way that he explains this and tells this story, we are seeing here a cosmic conflict. So in the first two verses, we are going to see the clash of kingdoms, the clash of kingdoms. And then we are going to see two different responses to that clash of kingdoms, that great conflict. The second point in versus three through eight is clinging to illegitimate kingship, that's one response to cling to illegitimate kingship. The second response is coming under the true king, that's the second and better response to this clash of kingdoms to come under the true king.
1. Clash of Kingdoms
2. Clinging to Illegitimate Kingship
3. Coming Under the True King
The Clash of Kingdoms
So in these first two verses, let's start here in this first point, the clash of Kingdoms again, Matthew is a master of how he tells a story. He says in just a few words, a tremendous amount. He paints a picture in great big, broad brush strokes that tells us exactly what's happening in a really profound way. So in just two verses, Matthew gives us this triangle of conflict. The clash of cosmic conflict in just a few verses where we see a triangle of conflict.
So look at versus one and two. In verse one we read right away, "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem." So stop there for a moment. We're reading here that Jesus has been born, but if you were here when we looked at the end of chapter one, you may remember we didn't hear about the birth story there. We don't hear about the birth story in the gospel of Matthew. We have to look to the gospel of Luke to hear the story about how Jesus was born. Matthew does not tell us how Jesus was born. Instead, he emphasizes where Jesus was born. That's because Matthew is not giving us just the story of Jesus's birth. He wants to emphasize the significance of Jesus birth. That's why he emphasized the detail of the place of the birth.
"Now, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea". Bethlehem of Judea, that is the area of the Land of Israel that was given to the tribe of Judah. Now it's important that this Bethlehem is as specified because there is actually another Bethlehem that we read about in the Bible. It's buried in the list of towns that were given as an inheritance to the tribe of Naphtali in Joshua 19:15. That's in the northern part of Israel in the land that is called in the New Testament Galilee. So there is another Bethlehem, and this is rather the southern Bethlehem in the tribal inheritance of the tribe of Judah.
There's a bigger reason that Matthew is emphasizing that this is Bethlehem and Judea. That's to remind us of what he told us in the first chapter. That this is the story of the tribe of Judah and namely, this is the story of God fulfilling his covenant promises to the most illustrious member, up to this point in history, from the tribe of Judah the Great King David. Remember back at the very first verse of this gospel that Matthew told us that this is the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David. David himself was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Matthew wants to shine the spotlight on this, it's not so important to how Jesus was born, it's where he was born. This is the rightful king who was born in the place where the great King David had also been born.
That's the first side of this triangle of conflict that Matthew was telling us here. The second side of this triangle of conflict comes in just a few words that Matthew mentions offhandedly in verse one. So now, "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King." The reference here is to the ruler known as Herod the Great, who reigned as king over Judea from the years 37 B.C. to the year 4 B.C. He was perhaps in some ways like the White Witch, a cruel king and also a cruel king who had no divine right to kingship.
Herod's father was an Edomite. You may remember the nation of the Edomites nation of Edom was descended from Esau. Esau was the twin brother to Jacob, whose name was renamed Israel, that's the head of the Nation of Israel. So the nations of Israel and Edom, were always these cousins who are constantly bickering and fighting and going to war against each other through the history of Israel. Ultimately, Edom committed some horrifying atrocities against the Israelites. So it's no comfort then to have a king that comes from this nation and Edomites. King Herod's father was an Edomite, and Herod's father came to prominence because he was installed by Julius Caesar over Judea. Later, Herod was installed as the King of Judea, by the Roman Senate. He had this Roman backing this worldly backing.
What Matthew was contrasting here again in just these few broad brushstrokes is the contrast between the one who has all the worldly backing, all of the backing of the Roman Empire, this Herod the king. Versus the one who has the divine backing, the one who has behind him, the covenant promises of God that David would never lack a man of his descendants to sit upon the throne over Israel. So those are the two kingdoms in conflict, the kingdoms of this world versus the Kingdom of God and of his Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, these are two sides to a triangle, as you probably know, triangles have three sides. The third side to this conflict comes in the wise men who arrive and really, they come just to stir up the pot. They come here and they burst onto the scene and they say, "Where is he who has been born, King of the Jews?" They put their finger right on this point of conflict and drama. They say, where is the one not who will one day become the king of the Jews, but the one who was born king of the Jews. The one who was born with a rightful claim to the throne. The one, Herod, who threatens your kingdom, your power, your dominion. "Where is he who was born King of the Jews for, we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
We're not giving many details as to who these wise men are. The word in Greek is Magi. Some people think this refers to magicians, but probably as we're seeing in this passage, this is referring to people who were astrologers. They consulted the stars to try to find out what was going on the Earth. Probably these were from Babylon. This word shows up to talk about the wise men who surrounded Daniel in the book of Daniel in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. So these Magi were not necessarily magicians, but astrologers who were wise and studied all of the lore and all of the history and somehow, they had come to know that a star would herald the birth of the great king of the Jews.
So you have here these Babylonian wise men who have left their country and their culture to travel to Judea to find the one who is born, the King of the Jews. Again, when they come here, they stir up the pot. Think about the position that they are putting Herod in. Their questions may be innocent. They're just eagerly trying to discover the truth, but they're not harmless as far as Herod is concerned. They threaten his kingdom and they stir up every bit of paranoia that Herod can muster. As we will see both in this passage and the one that Lord willing will look at next week.
It's actually interesting if you look through history to see all of the greatest tyrants of history were also people who were extremely paranoid, people. Herod here is paranoid. He sees a threat to his kingdom and he's going to act on that. There's a lot of paranoia and in fact, other historians record just how paranoid Herod the Great was.
If you come a little closer to our age, Hitler was also someone who was extremely paranoid. Hitler's rival in the Soviet Union, Stalin, kept a file of everything he knew about Hitler. When this file was discovered, we learned that Hitler was a man who was so paranoid that he was always having people test the water around him for poison. That include the water that he boiled his eggs in, or people boiled his eggs for him in, as well as his toilet water. He wanted to know if every bit of water around him was poisoned because he was thoroughly and completely paranoid.
It wasn't just him again, that rival who kept this file on him, Joseph Stalin, was also extremely paranoid. The story is told in the book "Political Paranoia" by Robert Robinson and Jerrold Post that Stalin was so paranoid and always imagining threats to his life that when FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Stalin respected FDR quite a bit because they fought together against the Nazis in World War Two. When FDR eventually died, Stalin wrote this sympathy letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR's widow where he said, "Just assumed that well surely your husband must have been poisoned. So let me offer help to investigate and find how your husband was poisoned." Then he offered to execute the people who had surely poisoned FDR. People don't die just of natural causes in the world of a paranoid person, hey die only because they are poisoned.
Well, understand there's a reason that tyrants are paranoid. There's a reason that Herod is paranoid. If your life is about power and your power is illegitimate, then everyone and everything around you is a threat to your power, your standing and your status. Especially those who hold legitimate authority and absolutely those who have a claim, a rightful claim to king.
Now, Andrew preached last week about the choice we all face. A choice about which king we personally will back. Those choices about which king, which kingdom we will align ourselves with have eternal ramifications. If we do not submit to the Son the rightful king of God, then we face an eternal consequence in hell, forever separated from the kingdom of God's son, Jesus Christ.
What this passage is doing, and Matthew is really drawing us into, is looking at the same question, but from a different angle. It's asking you, how do you set yourself up as an illegitimate king? Put yourself in the shoes of Herod. This passage is asking us, do you set yourself up over your life, over your time, over your talents and over your treasures? Do you make yourself king over maybe a very small kingdom, the kingdom of your life? Do you seek to define your own existence, your own purpose, your own priorities, your own politics, your own sexuality? Do you decree what is right in your own kingdom? Your morality, your truth? If so, then you set yourself up as king.
This announcement that these Magi just come in and just innocently spill out, where's the king who's born king of the Jews? Understand this is a threat leveled against everything that you hold most dear. The question this passage is asking us is we put ourselves both in the feet of Herod, as well as in the feet of the wise men, is where do I stand on this? How will I respond to this threat that has been leveled against my kingdom? Again, there are two ways to respond to this threat the first way we're going to see in this next section, the second section clinging to illegitimate kingship.
Clinging to Illegitimate Kingship
That's what Herod chooses to do. He clings to his illegitimate kingship. This is an Edomite ruling over the Jews. So in verse three, it's not surprising that he doesn't rejoice when he hears this news. We read, "When Herod the King heard this, he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him." Most people think the reason that Jerusalem is troubled is not because they fear this news, but they fear what Herod will do in light of this news. They know what a paranoid psychopath this man is, and we'll read more about his atrocities in the next passage that we read Lord willing next week.
So to answer this question, understand he spares no expense. He calls together a meeting of the full Sanhedrin. This would be something like the president calling a joint session of Congress to answer and investigate this question. He calls the full Sanhedrin to ask about the location of Christ's birth. This man is the king of the Jews and doesn't know a very simple answer to this question of where the Messiah would be born.
The Sanhedrin has no difficulty with this question. There are chief priests and their scribes come and answer it immediately. They quote Micah 5:2. They say, Well, this is going to be in Bethlehem of Judea, "for so it is written in the prophet, ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”.
Now, what's so interesting about this passage are a couple of things. First of all, the repetition of the word Judah. This is in Bethlehem of Judea, the land of Judah. "And you or Bethlehem in the land of Judah." If you look up the Old Testament, it's, In you O Bethlehem, Ephrata. Matthew is applying this and showing us how this has been fulfilled in the tribe of Judah through the great offspring of Judah. The lion of the tribe of Judah, David and the greater son of David, Jesus Christ.
So we read "This is in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, and you are by no means least among the rulers of Judah. For from you shall come, a ruler who will shepherd my people, Israel." That last line is also a reference to David because it doesn't come from Micah 5:2. It comes from 2 Samuel, 5:2 and 1 Chronicles 11:2. It's a part of the story of when David was anointed king over Judea. What Matthew is showing us here is that these prophecies, these ancient things have been fulfilled through Jesus Christ. This is the information that Herod gets, and he tells us about what the information was that Herod got from the Sanhedrin.
So what does he do with this revelation, this clear answer about where the Messiah would be found? Well, in verse seven, we read that he summoned the wise men secretly. Now, we've seen this word before in Matthew's Gospel, although it was translated a little bit different. It was back in 1:19 and that was where we read that Joseph, who having come to realize that his betrothed wife Mary, legally his wife and yet they had not yet come together, that she was with child. We read that her husband, Joseph, in 1:19, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolve to divorce her quietly. There's that word, it's the same word that's translated secretly here in 2:7.
Understand when Joseph saw what had happened to Mary and by all outward appearances, drew the conclusion that she had been unfaithful to him. He was a just or a righteous man, but he didn't want to put her to shame. He wanted to protect her in some way, and the only thing he could do was to divorce her quietly, secretly.
Here you see Herod secretly quietly calling these wise men not to protect them, not to protect certainly the Christ child. Here Herod is protecting Herod. He's conniving and scheming to try to work things so he can protect his kingdom from the threat that this child represents. Remember after Joseph received the revelation that the child in Mary was the fulfillment of the prophecy, that a virgin would conceive and bear a son, and after he knew that this child would be conceived by the Holy Spirit, Joseph changed his mind. He went ahead and took Mary to be his wife. Whereas Herod starts scheming. He has heard the revelation from Micah 5:2 and 1 Samuel 5:2 and 1 Chronicles 11:2, and he decides instead to figure out how he can kill this child.
So he tells them, lying through his teeth in verse eight, "He sent them to Bethlehem, saying go and search diligently for the child, and when you found him, bring me word that I too may come and worship him." Herod is willing to do anything here, anything to conceal the truth, anything to lie about the truth. Even if it requires murder, he will do it in order to protect his kingdom, to protect his power. He's willing to do whatever it takes to protect the damage that may come to him from this, no matter what the cost.
This summer, I had the extremely painful experience of throwing out my back. I'd thrown out my back in in the past, but this was a doozy. I had had a hard workout, at least for me at the gym that day, and so I was a little bit weakened by all of that. So that same day I was reaching over a fence where my children were playing with our neighbors and I pulled my two year old up and so bent over and pulling up. Not much weight, but it was enough to just throw my back into full spasm. So for the next month, I experienced this crippling, paralyzing, seizing pain that would happen whenever I moved in just the wrong way. I'd be lying there in bed at night and it would suddenly seize me and I could do nothing but just wait for the waves of pain to wash over me until it was done. It was a terrible experience. It was a tremendous amount of pain. I wondered what could cause this.
Well, as I learned through a number of chiropractic sessions, trying to put this all back in order, is that our bodies are fearfully made in such a way where if our bodies are trying to do something where we stand to damage ourselves, you know, we're sort of reaching over when the right muscles are maybe weakened and can't support maybe our spine or things like that in the way they need to be protected. Other parts of our body will actually leap up, rise up to try to help and protect those things that need protected. But that can come at a cost. When the wrong parts of your body are trying to protect other parts of the body that they aren't intended entirely to protect. That will come at a great cost and that's what happens essentially when you throw your back out.
Well, that anatomical truth illustrates a spiritual truth that we're seeing here. When within our souls, we conspire and are willing to rise up, to do some kind of damage control, to protect ourselves, our interests, our status, our standing, our kingdom, against the threat of a legitimate king of Jesus Christ. We may succeed for a time in doing that kind of damage control, but it's going to come at tremendous cost to our souls. It will bear a terrible price on our souls, and that's exactly what's happening to Herod. He's willing to do whatever it takes to protect himself, but in the in the process, he forfeits his own soul by his sin.
You see Herod is right about one thing, he sees the kingship of Jesus as a threat to him. He's absolutely right because Jesus dethroned illegitimate kings. By clinging to his illegitimate kingship, he is damaging his soul. The irony of this, the tragedy of this, is that he doesn't recognize that there is in fact more joy in serving Jesus than there would be in clinging to his power.
There is, in fact, a better response, it's the response that's modeled by the wise men. Again, Matthew wants us to think about both sides of this and to consider how we are responding. Is it like Herod to protect ourselves no matter what damage it does to our souls? Or is it like the wise men?
Coming Under the True King
This brings us to our third section coming under the true king and verses nine through 12. We read that, "After listening to the king, the men went on their way and behold the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy." They weren't dismayed by this. This was the desire of the nations. This is what they had come to see. They rejoiced exceedingly.
"Going into the house," verse 11, "they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him." Now this word can refer at a sort of general level to just doing homage to a king bowing down in reverence and respect. But it's the word for worship and here that's clearly what's happening. They have come to worship this newborn king and they've come to give them their treasures, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Then the best part of this story is the way you see Herod's plans. The plans are the most powerful person in this area, just sort of swatted away like they were a fly. You see, "Being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed that her own country, by another way." Just like that, Herod's great schemes and plans are just washed away, just wiped away, flicked away like they were a fly.
In the clash of kingdoms, Jesus is going to dethrone every illegitimate king. The question is, are these kings willing to lay down their own power willingly to come to Jesus? We don't know whether these are kings, but they clearly have to renounce authority over themselves to come out of their country, out of their culture, to worship this king of the Jews. They do this willingly. They're dethroned of their own volition to come worship this king. Whereas Herod will not come so quietly, he will not come willingly. He will resist. But one way or another, Jesus to thrones every illegitimate king.
There's a simple application from this passage then, and it's just this, come under the authority of the true king, Jesus Christ. Come under the authority of the true king, Jesus Christ. Jesus is going to dethrone you from your illegitimate kingdom one way or another, so willingly come under the authority of the king, the true king, Jesus Christ.
What the gospel announces is, what Matthew is telling us, what he wants us to see, is that the true king has come. Matthew is the gospel of the kingship of Jesus. That's where Matthew has his spotlight trained. The true king has come, and Matthew wants us to know that he is coming again. At our Lord's first coming, the kings of this Earth rejected him, they hated him, they conspired to kill him. So that they were dismayed when they heard that these prophecies had been fulfilled. They weren't filled with joy by this, they were dismayed. Rather than coming under his kingship, they scrambled to get rid of him. But God brought all of their efforts, ultimately to nothing.
Understand it's not just for Herod. Jesus is a threat to your power and comfort and ease and your little private kingdom, too. You see, we don't have authority over our own lives, but we like to pretend that we do. We don't have control over our circumstances, but we'd like to grasp for it anyway. We don't have jurisdiction to define morality and truth, but we still go about doing whatever is right in our own eyes. We don't have autonomy over our destiny, but we do whatever we please living as though we did.
Now in all of this, we might have some sort of justification, some pretense that we think authorizes us to behave as though we were the kings over our own lives. We want to believe this so that we can act in whatever way that we can. But deep down, if we're honest with ourselves, we know. We know that the authority that we like to pretend that we have is illegitimate and that the true king, the Lord Jesus Christ, has authority over us that we could not imagine.
So we're reading about it here that Jesus was born as king. He was born as the true king, the true king in the line of David, as the fulfillment of God's covenant promises to David. This king has come to dethrone illegitimate kings like Herod, like you and like me. So that if you raise yourself against him, he must win the battle one way or another. Either like Herod by thwarting your plan and eventually by bringing to you to your grave and into hell forever. Or, like the wise men do.
Understand if you pick the path of Herod, this will mean your defeat, your demise and your everlasting destruction. There's a terrifying passage of this in Revelation 6:15-17, where we read about how the most powerful people in the world are brought under the wrath of the lamb. Not the lion, but the lamb. We read then,
15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:15-17, ESV
No earthly power can resist the authority of Jesus forever. The call for us this morning is to consider this, because there is another way, a better way, a more joyful way. It's to surrender gladly now. Again, the wise men left the country in their culture to seek Jesus. They were only given a little light. Think about this in contrast to the Jews, the Jews had all the scriptures. Where's the messiah? Oh, that's easy. He's in Bethlehem, and none of them go to find him when they hear that he has been born. Yet just a little bit of light that these gentiles have. These Babylonians have. The same nation who had subjugated Judah, who had carried Judah off into captivity. They have come to find this king and to worship him. They have a little light and they do much with it. It doesn't matter how much light you have so much as it matters what you do with that light.
The flip side of this is that all of us will be judged according to the light that we are given. They wanted Jesus, that's what they did with the light. They wanted Jesus no matter what it cost them. They were willing to give away their worship and their wealth to honor him because they saw that Jesus was not a threat, but he was rather their blessedness and their reward. They knew the secret that Matthew wants us to know, too, that Jesus is better, better than anything and everything that they could possibly have.
Well, in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe", when Mr. Beaver tells the Pevensie children that the true king Aslan is on the move, we read that something jumps in their spirits, a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. Then later, as they're discussing and defining who exactly this king would be, they'd learned that Aslan is a terrifying lion. They're afraid by this. They ask, well, is he safe? I think I'd be afraid to come before a lion.
Now they're doing some calculation there that perhaps all of us do. It's one thing to recognize that Jesus is the true king to assent, to that fact, to agree with that fact. But at the end of the day, we have to ask, am I substituting one tyrant for another? That's what they're asking, is he safe? Am I substituting the tyrant reign of the White Witch for the tyrant reign of Aslan? Mr. Beaver just casually tosses this question aside. He says, "Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn't safe, but he's good, he's the king I tell you." Words that are so famous to describe the kingship ultimately of Jesus.
Jesus is not safe. He dethroned illegitimate kings. That's what he has come to do. That includes your kingdom and my kingdom. But he's good. Jesus is the one who declares, come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you not more burdens, I will give you rest. Jesus is the one who says all that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me, not that I will reject and turn away, weeping. Whoever comes to me, I will never cast out, Jesus says. Jesus says if anyone thirsts, too bad, he doesn't say that. He says if anyone thirst let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
He's not just the true and rightful king, although that would be enough to demand our worship and our honor and our obeisance, our love for him. He is rather the good king; he is the one who has come to shepherd his people. Of course he isn't safe, but he's good. He's the king, I tell you. The question that we are faced square on from this passage is, will we take the disastrous road of Herod in clinging to our illegitimate kingship? I want rights over me. Or will we come under the true king, the good king who has come to shepherd his people?
Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we ask that you would give us grace to see the goodness and the glory and the power of Jesus Christ, not a pretender to the throne, but the rightful king who comes to overturn every illegitimate kingdom, including, by your grace, mine. So that we might enter into the blessedness of the reward of the Great King, the High King, the king born in the line of David, who is both the offshoot of David, as well as David's root, the source of David's power. We pray that Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Savior would reign for us, would subdue the enemies of sin, death, and the devil forever so that we might live under his authority in blessedness and joy and peace. I pray that if there are those here who do not yet know Jesus, you would lead them under the gentle yoke of this kind and gracious shepherd, who is the mighty lion of the tribe of Judah. It's in his name, we pray. Amen.