I read over my blog of yesterday and the story of the woman and her ambitions for her sons. The woman clearly saw Jesus as someone about to move up the political ladder. What I am thinking about this morning is all those pictures of Jesus with a crown on his head…King Jesus. It makes me wonder what people are thinking. Why do they want to make a king of Jesus? He didn’t talk or act like a king and in this story he seems to be actually rejecting the whole idea.
I don’t remember a whole lot of the stuff I learned in my theology classes. An awful lot has fallen through the cracks in my brain. But I do recall something about how the Jews of the Old Testament came to have a king. They specifically prayed to God to give them one. They wanted to be a united people like the nations around them instead of a bunch of gypsies wandering around with no place to go. But I also remember that there were prophets who thought that having a king was not exactly what God had in mind for them. They were to be a people different than those others, people who leaned on the Divine to guide them and meet their needs. Because they crabbed about it so much, God finally gave them a king…and that caused all sorts of problems that you can read about if you feel like being depressed.
So then along comes Jesus who tells us that the great people are those who serve others, not those who seek power over others. Why in the world do people like to make a king out of Jesus? Maybe if I can figure out why the Jews wanted a king, it will give me a clue.
I like to imagine Jesus as the guy down the block who shares his squash with the neighbors each harvest season. The guy who always has time to stop and say hello – how are ya – when you see him in the grocery store. My Jesus is dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.
Actually, I think I saw him at a second hand shop a couple of weeks ago! He was black and his t-shirt had some kind of inspirational message on it. When he took my $3 for the little easel I bought for my grandson, he told me that the money goes to help the homeless. He got really excited about what the profits from the store could do. Later I learned that he gave a bunch of baby clothes away to a woman, five months sober, who was just starting to have visitation with her baby. Jesus invited me to come back again. You bet I will.