What did Jesus come FOR

He came to be ruler in Israel.” A very singular thing is this, that Jesus Christ was said to have been born the king of the Jews.” 

Very few have ever been born king.” Men are born princes, but they are seldom born kings. I do not think you can find an instance in history where any infant was born king. He was the Prince of Wales, perhaps, and he had to wait a number of years, till his father died, and then they manufactured him into a king, by putting a crown on his head, and a sacred chrism, and other silly things, but he was not born a king. 

I remember no one who was born a king except Jesus, and there is emphatic meaning in that verse that we sing— 

Born Thy people to deliver; Born a child, and yet a king.” 

The moment that He came on earth He was a king. He did not wait till His majority that He might take His empire; but as soon as His eye greeted the sunshine He was a king — from the moment that His little hands grasped anything, they grasped a sceptre. As soon as His pulse beat, and His blood began to flow, His heart beat royally, and His pulse beat an imperial measure, and His blood flowed in a kingly current. He was born a king. He came to be ruler in Israel.” 

Ah!” says one, then He came in vain, for little did He exercise His rule, He came unto his own, and his own received him not.’ He came to Israel and He was not their ruler, but He was despised and rejected of men,’ cast off by them all, and forsaken by Israel, unto whom He came.” 

Ay, but they are not all Israel who are of Israel,” neither because they are the seed of Abraham shall they all be called. Ah, no! He is not ruler of Israel after the flesh, but He is the ruler of Israel after the spirit. Many such have obeyed Him. Did not the apostles bow before Him and own Him as their King? And now, does not Israel salute Him as their ruler? Do not all the seed of Abraham after the spirit, even all the faithful, for He is the father of the faithful,” acknowledge that unto Christ belong the shields of the mighty, for He is the king of the whole earth? Does He not rule over Israel? Ay, verily He does, and those who are not ruled over by Christ are not of Israel. 

He came to be a ruler over Israel. My brother, have you submitted to the sway of Jesus? Is He ruler in your heart or is He not? We may know Israel by this — Christ is come into their hearts, to be ruler over them. 

Oh!” says one, I do as I please, I was never in bondage to any man.” 

Ah! then you hate the rule of Christ. …

Ay,” says another, I have professed His religion and I am His follower.” 

But does He rule in your heart? Does He command your will? Does He guide your judgment? Do you ever seek counsel at His hand in your difficulties? Are you desirous to honor Him, and to put crowns upon His head? 

Is He your ruler? If so, then you are one of Israel, for it is written, He shall come to be ruler in Israel.” 

Blessed Lord Jesus! You are ruler in Your people’s hearts and You ever shall be. We want no other ruler save Yourself and we will submit to none other. We are free, because we are the servants of Christ. We are at liberty, because He is our ruler, and we know no bondage and no slavery, because Jesus Christ alone is monarch of our hearts. 

Excerpted from The Incarnation and Birth of Christ, Sermon No. 57, Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 23, 1855, by the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark. The Spurgeon Archive Collection, administered by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Hosted by WPEngine. Source

Image: Detail from the Ghent Altarpiece, Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, 1432. Source

Text First Published December 1855 · Last Featured on Renovare.org January 2024