He Didn't Want to be King

LeRoy Koopman

READ : John 6:15-21

A strange one, this Jesus.

He was on the very brink of success (v. 15). He had displayed extraordinary power in feeding the five thousand, and the people responded with enthusiasm and awe. Jesus was their hero. It was obvious that he had divine connections.

Now they wanted to make him king so he would have the power base to legislate many of the values close to their hearts. He would have the political clout to make Israel a free Messianic nation. He could emphasize the principles of the Sermon on the Mount. Students might be required to say the Lord’s prayer each school day. Down would come portraits of Caesar in Israel’s courtrooms. Up would go paintings of Jesus. On the nation’s coins the portrait of Caesar could be replaced by symbols from the temple. A secret militia could begin gathering swords, spears, and chariots. Israel could be declared “one nation under God.”

But Jesus passed up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Instead of giving an inspiring speech, collecting donations for the campaign, and leading an enthusiastic rally, he “withdrew again to the mountain by himself” (v. 15).

As we said, this Jesus could be a strange one.

PRAYER

Make clear to me, Father, how I can best use my influence as a Christian, always asking the question, “What would Jesus do?” In his name. Amen.