The King has Come

Luke 1


Be Glad: The King has come. Be Ready: The King is coming again.


“A King, a Priest, and a Prophet.”

My task for you today is simple. I am assigned the responsibility of preaching to you about the greatest King and the greatest Kingdom of all time. My task is made simple by the precious prose that has been preserved for perpetuity. Success today will not be measured by my eloquent elocution, lavish linguistics, perfectly patterned poetry, or dynamic dictation. Success today will not be in my interesting introduction, exegetical exposition, or cagey conclusion. No, success today will be found in this: do you hear the Word, “Be glad: the King has come!” and do you heed the warning: “Be Ready, the King is coming again.”

It is easy in the chaotic charge to Christmas to simply focus on what has been, King Jesus was born, and fail to carefully consider what will be, King Jesus is coming again. But let us take the time to unwrap this timeless tale, wonderfully written by Dr. Luke, today, you will see a King greater than Herod, a priest greater than Zechariah, and a prophet greater than John. For today, I will tell you the true story of Christmas, and the Christ who came, and is coming again.


Setting the Stage

From the very beginning, God desired to live in harmonious fellowship with humankind, the pinnacle of His Creation. Deceived and deluded the dark and devious devil led Eve and then Adam into sin. Sin putrefied what God made perfect. Sin brought a three-fold curse upon humanity. Though Adam and Eve sought liberation, they found tyranny. Though Adam and Eve sought freedom, they found guilt. Though Adam and Eve sought knowledge, they found ignorance.

But God was not caught unaware. All-knowing, and All-seeing, God in His infinite wisdom and perfection planned to purchase the pardon for all people who would believe in the Sacrificially shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ. A promise was made and a picture was given. Before man and woman were even cast out of the Garden, God the grand reconciler to the vile serpent Satan, “you shall strike His heel, but He will crush your head.” That is the promise! But God also gave a picture. As the years rolled by God revealed His promise in a picture. He gave to Israel, the Promised People and to Gentiles as well, kings, and priests, and prophets. 

Kings were given to humanity as a picture of tyranny and liberation. Priests were given as a picture of guilt and and freedom. And prophets were given as a picture of ignorance and knowledge. Throughout the pages of the Old Testament there were many kings, priests, and prophets. But the unified message of the Holy Word of God was that one day, one grand a glorious day, there would be One who would come who would be king, and priest, and prophet. David was the greatest of the Kings, but One day there would be a greater King. Moses/Aaron were the greatest of the priests, but One day there would be a greater Priest. Elijah was the greatest of the prophets, but One day there would be a greater Prophet. 

Every king that sat upon the throne, pointed to this One. Every priest that offered a sacrifice pictured this One. Every prophet that spoke words of revelation portrayed this One. And the people longed for His coming. But every king failed, and every priest failed, and every prophet failed. And still there was tyranny, guilt, and ignorance. And along comes Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets. And God said through the prophet in Malachi 1:14, “I am the great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.” God then uses the prophet to rebuke the priests. He rebukes the people. And then God says, Malachi 4:5, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet…and he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers…” This was a prophecy that one day, a preparer would come, one who had a spirit like Elijah. But then the heavens were sealed up, shut up, and stopped up. For 400 years, there was no revelation. For 400 years, there was no prophecy. There were no voice from heaven. There were no miracles. No signs. No prophets to call the people to repentance. But three problems remained. Tyranny. Guilt. Ignorance.

But then, the long awaited answer came. 

Be Glad: The King has Come. Be Ready: The King is Coming

  1. A King
    • Luke 1:5 says, “In the days of Herod, King of Judah…” Here’s a king. But he is not just any King. King Herod was a cruel tyrant. In BC 40, Herod was given the title by Rome as “King of the Jews.”
    • Though he was half-Jewish, he was fully aligned with Rome.
    • According to the historian Josephus, his first at as King of the Jews was to climb the steps of the temple of Jupiter, and offer a sacrifice to this false god, while pledging his allegiance to Rome.
    • His throne was contested, and it took three years of brutal and bloody battle before Jerusalem was subdued.
    • His reign was fraught with taxes and terror. He taxed the people to death, and put to death anyone that opposed him.
    • According to one author, Herod was a “maniac suffering from a personality disorder, who introduced the ancient version of a Gestapo state with an extended spy network and imprisonment, torture, and execution of anyone falling under the slightest suspicion. His own family was far from exempt, and the list of Herod’s executions of family members included three of his sons,[Alexander, Aristobulus, and Antipater] his Hasmonean wife Mariamme, and his wife’s mother and grandfather. In light of this, Solomon Zeitlin said with reference to Herod’s ancestry and his death from a painful disease, ‘He attained his kingdom as a fox, ruled as a tiger, and died as a dog.’” (
    • The silence had ended, but the tyranny had not.
  2. A Priest
    • The scene in Luke 1:5 quickly shifts from Horrible Herod to a Pious Priest named Zechariah. Verse 5, “In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. Hand he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God.”
    • This does not mean that they were perfect. They were certainly sinners like you and I. But even through the dark days of Herod, and even during the silence of heaven, they maintained their integrity.
    • However, verse 7 says they were old, and they were childless. But even their advanced age and barrenness did not keep them from praying and practicing their faith.
    • Verse 8 says, “While he was serving as a priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.”
    • There were nearly 15,000 priests during Zechariah’s day, but by random choice, he was given the responsibility of giving a sacrifice to the Lord. Why was he sacrificing? Because there was still guilt. Sin brought guilt. Sacrifice brought grace. But my friends this was just a temporary grace.
    • And while he was diligently doing his duty, the silence of heaven was broken.
    • Verse 11, “There appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”
    • John means, “Yahweh, God is gracious.” The silence of heaven ends with the resounding song of grace. Grace! God’s favor. Zechariah and Elizabeth, both from priestly families, were given grace, but still the people were guilty.
    • The silence had ended, but there was still guilt
  3. A Prophet
    • Zechariah was told of John’s coming, but he was also told of John’s calling. Look down at verse 16. “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord, their God, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
    • Look at the linkage to Malachi! Malachi said, “one in the spirit of Elijah will come and turn the hearts of fathers to their children.” Gabriel said, “your son will go in the spirit of Elijah and turn the hearts of fathers to their children.”
    • After 400 years of no prophets, a prophet would be born. His calling? To speak to their ignorance and call them to repentance. There was to be a prophet in Israel again! And he was given the ministry of preparation.
    • For the whole pregnancy, Zechariah was made dumb for his doubt. Gabriel, who broke the silence of God, brought silence to the mouth of Zechariah. 
    • But before John was even born, there was more joyous news. Gabriel had more news of grace! And he came to a virgin named Mary, and said to her, in verse 30, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor (grace) with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom, there will be no end.”
    • Two babies. One to prepare the way for the King, the other to become the King.
    • The silence had ended, but the guilt had not.
    • Both babies would be born, and would grow. John would cry out in the wilderness, “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus would cry out, “Repent, the Kingdom of God is here!” John would die a cruel death. But the ministry of Jesus would continue.
    • And in that ministry, Jesus would say the most significant statement of all time. “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No one comes to the Father, but by me.” Let me unpack this for you.
      1. I am the way. That is the priestly office. Christ Jesus on Calvary’s cross not only offered the sacrifice, He became the Sacrifice. This was the end of guilt.
      2. I am the Truth. That is the prophetic office. Christ Jesus came not only with words from God, He is the Word of God.
      3. I am the Life. That is the kingly office. Christ Jesus brought corruption, sin, death, and the grave to an end through His resurrection. This was the end of tyranny.
  1. Christ is Greater than Herod
    • Herod was an Edomite. Jesus is eternal.
    • Herod ruled over Judea. Christ rules over all Creation.
    • Herod killed the Jewish babies. Jesus is the living Son of God.
    • Herod’s name means “fugitive, wanderer, coward.” Jesus’ name means “God is my salvation.”
    • Herod was a tyrannical King.  Jesus is the triumphant King.
    • Herod lies rotting in a grave. Jesus rose triumphantly from the grave.
    • Herod was called “King of the Jews.” Jesus is the King of all Kings.
    • Herod died a tyrant. Jesus brought death to tyranny. He is the Life.
  2. Christ is Greater than Zechariah
    • Zechariah was an old man. Jesus is eternal.
    • Zechariah was righteous before God. Jesus is the righteous God.
    • Zechariah was fearful. Jesus is to be feared.
    • Zechariah was a doubter. Jesus defeats doubt.
    • Zechariah served in the Temple. Jesus sits on the throne.
    • Zechariah was a great high priest. Jesus is THE Great High Priest.
    • Zechariah offered sacrifices. Jesus became the sacrifice for the sins of all men.
    • Zechariah walked in the way of God. Jesus is the Way to God. He brought a death to guilt. He is the Way.
  3. Christ is Greater than John
    • John was the son of a human father. Jesus is the Son of the Heavenly Father.
    • John was filled with the Spirit. Jesus is One with the Spirit.
    • John was the voice in the wilderness. Jesus is the Word of God.
    • John turned the hearts of fathers to their children. Jesus turned the hearts of children to the Heavenly Father.
    • John had a ministry of preparation. Jesus had the ministry of provision.
    • John lost his head for Christ. Jesus is the Head of the Church.
    • John proclaimed prophetically, “The Kingdom is coming!” Jesus proclaimed prophetically, “I AM the King.”
    • John came the last of the prophets. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the prophecies. Jesus brought an end to ignorance. He is the Truth.

I don’t care who is on the throne on earth. The King of Kings, the Lord of all Lords is still on the throne in heaven. 

  1. He is impeccable.
  2. He is indescribable.
  3. He is ineffable.
  4. He is indestructible.
  5. He is incredible.
  6. He is indivisible.
  7. And my friends, He is unimpeachable!

He is the King who has come. He is the King who is coming again.

  1. His Kingdom knows no boundary.
  2. His rule knows no adversary.
  3. His government knows no enemy.
  4. His purpose knows no adversity.
  5. His environment knows no calamity.
  6. His reign endures for eternity.

He has brought an end to tyranny, ignorance, guilt. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. And you can come to the Father through Him. The immediate reminder of Christmas is that the King has come. The enduring reminder of Christmas is that the King is coming again to rule over all the earth. Are you prepared for His return?


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