Jesus’ birth meant that God himself dramatically broke into humanity.
In love, he comes as saviour — saving us from the punishment our sin deserves.
And he comes as Immanuel — “God with us” — to be friends with us, no longer a distant and detached being.
But he also comes as a ruler.
Soon after his birth Jesus is visited by some wise men from the east. These were more likely something akin to our modern-day ambassadors.
They were wondering, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?’ (Matt 2:2).
Herod (the king of Judea) is somewhat concerned and makes enquires of his own as to where the Christ is to be born (Matt 2:3-4).
Mathew 2:6 gives us the answers, recalling a prophecy made centuries earlier, that from Bethlehem ‘‘... shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel’’.
So we have wise men from the east looking for a king; another king looking for the Christ; a prophecy speaking about a ruler.
All these titles are more or less the same.
They speak to the truth that this Jesus who was born in a humble manger, is also one who will exercise great authority as God’s ‘‘anointed one’’.
When the wise ambassadors finally arrived, it is this Jesus they recognised as they ‘‘fell down and worshiped him’’, opening their treasures and offering him their gifts (Matt 2:11).
That is the most proper response to Jesus. Acknowledging who Jesus is and worshipping him.
As we sing, ‘‘Glory to the new born king’’.
This Christmas we too must recognise the real Jesus. And to celebrate Christmas in the fullest way possible we must also worship him for who he is; King. Christ. Ruler.
~ Contributed by Pastor Chris Taylor of the Deniliquin Baptist Church, on behalf of the Combined Churches of Deniliquin.