The One Who is Mocked as King is Truly the King!
And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Matthew 27:28-29
The Magi came to Jerusalem looking for a king. The fact that there was an infant king of the Jews was a shock to King Herod. After being directed by Herod that they would find the Christ in Bethlehem, they left Jerusalem to continue their search for the child. Upon finding this One they called a king, they fell down and worshipped Him. What a sight to behold, wise men falling down before a child and offering Him their worship and their gifts. He is not at all what you might expect of a king.
The crowds were gathered to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem. Before Him they spread their cloaks on the road and in their hands they waved palm branches. While His entry into the city is described by many as triumphal, St. Matthew notes the humility, quoting Zechariah, “Behold, your king is coming to you, humble and mounted on a donkey.” He is not at all what you might expect of a king.
Just a few days later, the soldiers gathered around Jesus at the governor’s headquarters. They regaled Him as their king, adorning Him in a robe of splendor with a crown and a scepter and falling before Him they mocked Him. When the religious leaders looked upon Him on the cross, they also ridiculed Him, “He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross and we will believe in him.” Rather than worshiping the King, they mock Him because He is not at all what you might expect of a king.
However, the one who the soldiers mocked as king is actually the one true king. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The infant King the Magi worshipped in Bethlehem will one day be the King of kings to whom the nations offer their worship and praise, as John beholds in His vision recorded in Revelation. The One who dies between the two reprobates hung under the charge “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Regardless of whether they were spoken by wise men or the religious leaders, Pilate or the crowds, the words were true. Jesus is the King of nations who has come and who will come again. He may not be what you might expect of a king, but He is exactly the kind of King we need. For He is the King, who rules with mercy and grace!
Prayer – O King of the nations, the ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all people, come and save us all, whom You formed out of clay. Amen (O Antiphon for December 21)
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan