How Should A King Come?

Bible Book: Matthew  2 : 2
Subject: Christ, Birth of; Christmas

Dr. William Anderson (1826-1895)[1], Congregational minister and member of the General Council of the University of Aberdeen, shares the following in Kings of Society; or Leaders of Social, Intellectual, and Religious Progress: “How completely were both Jews and Gentiles disappointed in the birth and lowly condition of the Saviour of the world. They expected Him to descend from heaven, in pomp and splendor; to take immediate and triumphant possession of the throne of His father David, to gather around Him all the great men of the nation, to subjugate to His sway all the kingdoms of the world, and to exalt His followers to the highest places of honour under His glorious reign. But instead of royal magnificence, they saw nothing but poverty and meanness. Instead of being surrounded by a princely retinue, humble shepherds were the first to assemble round His cradle. The palaces of emperors and the halls of kings had no room for Emmanuel. The stable was the only palace and the manger was the only cradle which the obscure carpenter and the unknown maid of Nazareth could obtain for the child. A fit prelude to a life of poverty, humiliation, and sacrifice! Truly the Author of Christianity was not ‘porphyro genitus’ or purple born. Marble halls, state chambers, cabinets, and throne-rooms, were not honoured with His infantile smiles. His birth was attended with no external splendor to make Him out as the promised Messiah. He was not born in a popular city; neither Memphis nor in Babylon, neither in Athens nor in Rome: But in the obscure village of Bethlehem He made His advent, unushered by pompous preparations, and unheralded by the blast of courtly trumpets.”[2]

Dr. Joseph Parker (1830-1902) writes, “By a vision of the night God could have prepared the keeper of the inn for the reception of the world’s Saviour; by a message conveyed by angelic lips He could have commanded the most sumptuous welcome which earth's palaces could afford; He who created the beauties which smiled on the bosom of paradise could have called into existence a garden blooming with flowers which never graced primeval Eden, and amid its blushing charms the ‘Rose of Sharon’ might have budded. But no! In God's estimation, what difference is there between a palace and a manger? Whatever Christ touched He dignified. The king, untouched by Christ, is blind and miserable and naked. The pauper in whose heart Christ abides is gifted with loftiest dignity. Christ shed a glory round that Eastern stable. Had infant Caesars pillowed their heads in the manger it would have been a manger still; but Christ having found a cradle there, the manger is henceforth distinguished by such a glory as never shone on the palaces of kings.”[3]

Matthew 1:18-2:2 reads, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus. Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’”

Now, the words of our text found in Matthew 2:2b, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?”

Note several things about Jesus Christ, the newborn King.

I. Note the lowliness of His plunge.

Philippians 2:5-11 reads, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Matthew 11:28-30 reads, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Galatians 4:4-5 reads, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

Jesus left the splendor of heaven to come to earth.

II. Note the littleness of His place.

Matthew 2:1a reads, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king . . . .” Micah 5:2 reads, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” While Bethlehem was His birth place; Nazareth was His home place. Dr. C. Weldon Gaddy explains, “Nazareth was the home place of Jesus. During Jesus’ boyhood, Nazareth was about as insignificant and non-descript as a place could be and still be named. The little village had developed in the hill country fifteen miles from the Sea of Galilee. Distances and directions really did not matter, though, because Nazareth, which was not on a main road, seemed like a long way from everywhere else. Visitors arrived there intentionally; no one just happened by. Most people passed Nazareth at a distance, not even aware that they were close to a village.”[4]

I remember hearing a preacher quote the following exchange between a man and God written by an unknown:

Father, where shall I work today'

And my love flowed warm and free.
Then He pointed me out a tiny spot,
And said, “Tend that for me.”

I answered quickly, “Oh, no, not that.
Why, no one would ever see,
No matter how well my work was done.
Not that little place for me!”

And the word He spoke, it was not stern,
He answered me tenderly,
“Ah, little one, search that heart of thine;
Art thou working for them or me'

Nazareth was a little place,
And so was Galilee.”

Remember, big things happen in little places! Aren’t we thankful big things happened in these little places?

III. Note the leanness of His plight.

As a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, I remember seeing a book prominently displayed in the library titled, The Plight of Man and the Power of God, by Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. 2 Corinthians 8:9 reads, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Rev. Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) explains, “Think not that our Saviour began to live when he was born of the Virgin Mary; imagine not that he dates his existence from the manger at Bethlehem; remember he is the Eternal, he is before all things, and by him all things consist. There was never a time in which there was not God. And just so, there was never a period in which there was not Christ Jesus our Lord. He is self-existent, hath no beginning of days, neither end of years; he is the immortal, invisible, the only wise God, our Saviour. Now, in the past eternity which had elapsed before his mission to this world, we are told that Jesus Christ was rich; and to those of us who believe his glories and trust in his divinity, it is not hard to see how he was so. Jesus was rich in possessions. Lift up thine eye, believer, and for a moment review the riches of my Lord Jesus, before he condescended to become poor for thee. Behold him, sitting upon his throne and declaring his own all-sufficiency. ‘If I were hungry, I would not tell thee, for the cattle on a thousand hills are mine. Mine are the hidden treasures of gold; mine are the pearls that the diver can not reach; mine every precious thing that earth hath seen.’ . . . What! was it true that he whose crown was all bedight with stars, would lay that crown aside? What! was it certain that he about whose shoulders was cast the purple of the universe, would become a man dressed in a peasants garment? Could it be true that he who was everlasting and immortal would one day be nailed to a cross? Oh! how their wonderment increased! They desired to look into it. And when he descended from on high, they followed him; for Jesus was ‘seen of angels,’ and seen in a special sense, for they looked upon him in rapturous amazement, wondering what it all could mean. ‘He for our sakes became poor.’ . . . And now wonder, ye angels, the Infinite has become an infant; he, upon whose shoulders the universe doth hang, hangs at his mothers breast; he who created all things, and bears up the pillars of creation, hath now become so weak that he must be carried by a woman! And oh, wonder, ye that knew him in his riches, whilst ye admire his poverty! Where sleeps the new-born King? Had he the best room in Caesar’s palace? hath a cradle of gold been prepared for him, and pillows of down, on which to rest his head? No, where the ox fed, in the dilapidated stable, in the manger, there the Saviour lies, swathed in the swaddling bands of the children of poverty! Nor there doth he rest long; on a sudden his mother must carry him to Egypt; he goeth there, and becometh a stranger in a strange land. When he comes back, see him that made the worlds handle the hammer and the nails, assisting his father in the trade of a carpenter! Mark him who has put the stars on high, and made them glisten in the night; mark him without one star of glory upon his brow—a simple child, as other children. Yet, leave for a while the scenes of his childhood and his earlier life; see him when he becomes a man, and now ye may say, indeed, that for our sakes he did become poor. Never was there a poorer man than Christ; he was the prince of poverty. He was the reverse of Croesus—he might be on the top of the hill of riches, Christ stood in the lowest vale of poverty. Look at his dress, it is woven from the top through out, the garment of the poor! As for his food, he oftentimes did hunger; and always was dependent upon the charity of others for the relief of his wants! He who scattered the harvest o'er the broad acres of the world, had not sometimes wherewithal to stay the pangs of hunger? He who digged the springs of the ocean, sat upon a well and said to a Samaritan woman, ‘Give me to drink!’ He rode in no chariot, he walked his weary way, foot sore, o'er the flints of Galilee! He had not where to lay his head. He looked upon the fox as it hurried to its burrow, and the fowl as it went to its resting-place, and he said, ‘Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but I, the Son of man, have not where to lay my head.’”[5]

In Luke 2:7, 12 we find the phrase “in a manger.” Jesus experienced poverty during his time on earth. Matthew 8:20 reads, “And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’” He lived a life of humble dependence upon the Father. How much better would we be in the ministry if we looked to the Father instead of men?

IV. Note the ludicrousness of His plot.

The term “plot” means “the plan or main story (as of a movie or literary work).”[6] Synonyms for the word “plot” include storyline, story, scenario, scheme, action, and thread. The plot of Jesus’ life was no doubt ludicrous to many. Ludicrous means, “amusing or laughable through obvious absurdity, incongruity, exaggeration.”[7]

Matthew 8:5-13 reads, “Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour.”

Rev. Paul S. Ashby comments: “Those who were really following the plot of Jesus’ life would have realized that His response to the centurion was no surprise. Jesus had much more work to do. . . .”[8] We could say, “The plot thickens,” meaning, “Things are becoming more complicated or interesting.”[9] With each turn of the page recording the life and ministry of Jesus “the plot thickens.”

Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) penned the following words,

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth.
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”[10]

V. Note the lastness of His pledge.

The term “lastness” means, “the condition of being last,”[11] according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The natural tendency of mankind is the desire to be first. Jesus pledged His life to be last, servant of all! Matthew 20:28 reads, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6 reads, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon writes, “He who had once been waited on by angels becomes the servant of servants, takes a towel, ‘girds himself, and washes his disciples’ feet!” (Matthew 26:14-39) Matthew 18:1-5 reads, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” Mark 9:33-37 reads, “Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, ‘What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?’ But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’ Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, ‘Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.’” (Emphasis mine)

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is known as the fourth “Servant Song.” From this passage we clearly see Jesus, the King, is to suffer for His subjects. Many stumbled over this passage and missed the Messiah King.

Dr. Arnold Meyer (1861-1934), professor of the University of Zurich, states, “. . . even at the last hour in the Last Supper, Jesus pledged His body and His life as a surety that very soon He would again drink with them the cup of fellowship in the Kingdom.”[12]

1 Peter 1:18-21 reads, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” Revelation 13:8b reads, “. . . the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Emphasis mine)


Matthew 27:29 reads, “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” Matthew 27:37 reads, “And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Matthew 27:42 reads, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.” (Emphsis mine)

After His death, burial, and resurrection, we find the following description of our Savior and Lord. Revelation 1:9-20 reads, “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’ and, ‘What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.’ Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”

Revelation 19:11-16 reads, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Rev. Frederick Robert Kite (1822-1865) writes, “. . . the principal joy of Christ should be joy not in our families, not in our social meetings, not in the amusements of our children, but in our King. Rejoicing in Christ Jesus is the motto for a day like this. His glory should be in our thoughts, His character and work our study, and the one chief desire or our hearts to grow in love, and attain the nearer likeness to our condescending King. Come with me, brethren, for a few moments, and let us meditate on the glory and goodness of Him, who was content to humble Himself, and become a little babe in His mother’s arms, that He might be the sinner’s friend and Saviour. May the Holy Ghost, the Teacher, open our understandings, and warm our cold hearts to receive and be inspired by this glorious subject.”[13]

Dr. A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) lamented, “Today we have cheap religion passing for Christianity. This cheap religion consists of bits of poetry, a few flowers, a kindly smile and a deed for your brother. That seems to be the Christianity flavor of the day. The Christianity we have today that passes for Christianity and the Bible, ‘Faith of our fathers living still in spite of dungeon, fire, and sword!’ I do not know if it is possible to use language strong enough for the condemnation because it is not the truth. . . . Thomas à Kempis said, ‘The Lord has many lovers of His crown but few lovers of His cross.’”[14] Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon said, “There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below.”[15] 2 Timothy 2:12 reads, “If we endure [suffering], We shall also reign with Him.”

Remember the life and work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, if anyone should ask, “How should a king come?”

[1]Frederic Boase, Modern English Biography: Containing Many Thousand Concise Memiors of Persons Who Have Died During the Years 1851-1900, Vol. 4, A-C, (Truro: Netherton and Worth, 1908), 125. Accessed: 12/14/14,;view=1up;seq=7 .

[2]William Anderson, Kings of Society; or Leaders of Social, Intellectual, and Religious Progress, (London: Elliot Stock, 1866), 9-10.

[3]Joseph Parker, Hidden Springs, (London: Frederick Pitman, 1864), 359-360.

[4]C. Weldon Gaddy, Geography of the Soul, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 29-30.

[5] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “The Condescension of Christ,” Sermon Notes, (2 Corinthians 8:9).

[6]Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “plot,” Accessed: 12/10/14, .

[7]Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “ludicrous,” Accessed: .

[8]Paul S. Ashby, LIFE Learning in Faith Experience Discipleship Training, Littleover Methodist Church, Derby, UK, Devotional No. 27, Week 322, Saturday, (08/10/11), Matthew 8:5-13, Page 4 Accessed: 12/08/14,,5-13.pdf .

[9]Richard A. Spears, McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs, “The Plot Thickens,” (New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2002), 508.

[10]Fanny Crosby, “Tell Me the Story of Jesus,” (1880).

[11]Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “lastness,” Accessed: 12/10/14, .

[12]Arnold Meyer, trans. J. R. Wilkinson, Jesus or Paul? (London: Harper & Brothers, 1909), 74.

[13]Frederick Robert Kite, Posthumous Sermons, “Joy in our King,” (Psalm 149:2), (London: Dalton & Lucy, 1866), 35.

[14]A. W. Tozer: Voice of a Prophet: Who Speaks for God, comp. and ed. James L. Snyder, (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2014), 133.

[15]Charles H. Spurgeon, Gleanings Among the Sheaves, Second Edition, (New York, NY: Sheldon and Company, 1869), 57.

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on in hardcover, paperback and eBook] & / / (251) 626-6210

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