Emmanuel - A King Hiding In Plain Sight

Saturday, December 24, 2016

emmanuel god with us

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)

When the Magi, popularly known at the Three Wise Men, came looking for this newborn king of the Jews, they came to the most likely of places to find him. They came to Jerusalem, the capital city of the Jews where the Temple was located. When they couldn't find him there, they went to the next most likely source, Herod, King of Judah. They searched for a king in the usual places kings are found - in a palace or temple; on a throne; surrounded by other kings; amidst pomp and circumstance and royal fanfare. This king, however, couldn't be found there. Jesus is a different kind of king and you can't find him in the places earthly kings hang out. The Magi eventually found him in the home of a poor, simple carpenter named Joseph. There was no kingly court and no throne. Just a little boy and his young parents.

This king is different from all other kings and his name is a prophetic clue as to where you will find him. His name is Emmanuel, which literally means, God with us. This king doesn't dwell among us. He dwells with us. That is why so many miss him. You see, the Magi were looking in the wrong places. Emmanuel can't be found where other kings are found. You have to look in the most unlikely places to find him. He's not found in the lights and fanfare nor is he found among important, rich or noble people. He is not found among the religious leaders nor in the temples. You can find him hiding in plain sight. He's found where you least expect him to show up - right where you are.

Earthly kings demand the people come to them. The King of Heaven, Emmanuel, came to us. I find it amazing that the King of kings didn't wait for us to come to him. He came to us first. That is the essence of who he is as Emmanuel - our God who came to us. You don't have to find him because he will find you. Just look for him right where you are and you will see him.

Earthly kings demand that the people bow down to them. Our Heavenly King bowed down to us. In Matthew 20:28 Jesus said, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." And in Philippians 2:7 we are told that "he emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." The good news is that you don't find him when you get your act together. You actually find him when you are needy, when things are falling apart and when you are at your worst. It is there where you find him coming alongside you and serving you.

Earthly kings demand that the people lay down their lives for them. Emmanuel laid down his life for his people. Did you notice what Matthew 20:28 says? It says he gave his live as a ransom for many. Emmanuel came to dwell with us so that he could live, but rather so he could die for us. No other king or god can make that claim. That is what makes Emmanuel the King of kings.

This Christmas may you find him hiding in plain sight. I pray that he will reveal himself to you in the dark places of life - in your struggles and pain; in your hardships and disappointments. May you find his tidings of comfort and joy in the most unlikely places this season and in the coming year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Good Life!

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