Advent 20: Not like a normal king

“Second question: why did Jesus avoid being made king by the crowd? Isn’t that what he came for?”

Saint John of the Mall leaned forward.

“That’s a good question, and fairly simple to answer. They wanted to make Jesus king by force. They wanted to make him king rather than coming under his kingship and into his kingdom.”

“Could you explain that a little more,” Nancy said.

“All the time people are trying to make Jesus be their kind of king,” John said. “They want to force him into leadership. They want to force kingdoms to accept him. It is happening in your day, too. But Jesus will only be king on his terms. It’s why he told us to pray that his kingdom would come on earth in the same way that it is in heaven. The people wanted a bread king. He’s a people king.”

IMG_1690.JPG“Okay, third question,” I said. “Why doesn’t the Gospel of John talk about Peter walking on the water? Is it professional jealousy? Is it because no one else had the courage to step out of the boat? Because there are sure a lot of sermons about how we are supposed to step out of the boat in faith.”

John leaned back. “You know, the Holy Spirit was involved in reminding the writers of what had happened. The story is shaped by that direction. And that little glimpse of Peter wasn’t the most important thing that happened that day. In fact, in that moment, it may be that the most important picture is that the twelve were working really hard, making no progress against wind and waves that resisted them. And in that moment, Jesus came. First appearing so faint as if a ghost. But then, tangible and powerful. Peter’s story is merely one example of how fear becomes bravado becomes faith becomes fear becomes the presence of God. There were eleven other examples in that boat.”

John stood up. “He still does that. Appears faintly, but always faithfully.”

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.