John 6:15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
I love February because it’s Oscars month on Turner Classic movies. I get to record and watch the old movies with famous actors like Errol Flynn, Olivia de Haviland, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Greer Garson.
For the past two night, I’ve been watching Laurence Olivier in Richard III. He plays one of the sleaziest, greediest, and wickedest villains on the screen. I love Shakespeare’s plays anyway, but Olivier’s acting is absolutely amazing.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, cheats, conspires, and kills his way into becoming the King of England. Along the way, he makes many enemies and at the end of the play, he is left destitute on the battlefield. That’s when Olivier utters the immortal lines: “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” Justice is served and the villainous king is cut down and killed by his rival.
When I read the Gospel passage this morning, I was reminded that the people wanted to make Jesus their king, just because He supplied them with fish and bread. They wanted Him to provide for them, to heal their sicknesses, to satisfy their hunger, and to make their lives pleasant.
But Jesus was on a mission from God, so He couldn’t be tempted by such an offer. He was serving God, not Himself. He was doing God’s will, not His own.
This also reminds me that our faith in Christ is purely meant to glorify and honor Him. If we seek Jesus to bless us all the time and to make our lives easier, then we’ve crowned the wrong kind of king in our hearts. If we place our lives into His hands and seek to serve His kingdom here on earth, then we’ve truly made Him the King of our lives.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to place You at the center of our lives and to honor You with our service to Your Kingdom. Enable us to keep You as the King of our hearts and Lord of our days. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.