A person’s title gives him power. This can be easily be seen in the inauguration of a person to the Presidency of the United States. On Inauguration Day, the president-elect descends to the podium where he is inaugurated. He approaches the podium as just another citizen of the United States, but he departs as the most powerful person in the world, the President of the United States. He was given a title and is now to be addressed as Mr. President. We do not have to agree with his ideas, but we do have to respect him as our President. His title gives him power.
In a less formal example, two men regularly play golf together. One afternoon they go out to the course. However, this time there is a difference. One of them is the professor of a particular course; the other has just enrolled in his class. Now the student has to accept his friend as his superior who is charged with passing judgement on his mastery of the class material. The professor’s title gives him power over his friend.
When I was in the seventh grade, my friend took a rubber band and shot some lead at me. This happened during class time when we were supposed to be learning. When the lead hit my forehead, I lost my temper, and threw him to the floor. The teacher, Miss Callahan, was a tiny lady of 55 or 60 years of age. She tried to separate us, but couldn’t. In the midst of that skirmish, my elbow hit her body, and she went down on the floor.
Finally, order was restored to the classroom. Miss Callahan said to me, “Get out of this room and don’t come back again!” She was the teacher and had the power to throw me out of school.
As I was leaving the school building, I ran into the principal, Mr. Philbrook. He looked at my swollen eye and asked, “Where are you going?”
“I am going home. Miss Callahan threw me out of her class.”
Instead, Mr. Philbrook took me back to his office where I spent the remaining two days of the school year with him. As the principal, he had power over the teacher in the classroom. Titles give you power to make decisions.
It is along this line that we are thinking today. Jesus called Himself a king. He told the people that one day He would be the Lord over heaven and earth. This bothered the people in political power, so they decided to take Him to the High Priest, who felt Jesus needed to be killed. Not having the power to condemn anyone to death, the High Priest sent Jesus to Pilate.
When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, Pilate didn’t want to do anything with Him. “This is a purely religious nature; you handle it yourself.” But that was not to be, for the people wanted Him dead but lacked the authority to condemn Him to die. So Pilate was called upon to pass sentence on Jesus.
Pilate, therefore, questioned Jesus. But when Jesus said He was the King of the Jews, Pilate did not like that too well, because it could affect his whole lifestyle. If Jesus was to be a political king, what would happen to Pilate?
When Pilate had heard enough of Jesus declaring Himself the King of the Jews, he decided Jesus must be killed. (Prior to that time, Jesus had been a joke. People clothed Him like a King, laughed and taunted Him.)
Like Pilate, millions of people today also take Jesus seriously as long as He does not interfere with their lifestyle. We try to make His teachings less offensive to a non Christian world in order not to offend anyone’s personal beliefs. However, if a Christian is to remain true to the Word of God, he cannot change that Word.
For instance, a person is considering what will happen to him after he dies. He says to his pastor, “We’re all going to be saved, aren’t we?” The pastor reads to him from John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.” Then the man says to his pastor, “I cannot accept that part of Christianity. Jesus Christ is love, therefore, if there is a life after death, I believe we will all be there.”
Jesus was interfering with this man’s thought pattern. He wanted to have peace with everyone, regardless of it’s cost. So he’s willing to believe there is no difference between Jesus and any other religious leaders. They all have one purpose Ð to get us to the heavenly home in our own way. However, nothing can be further from the truth.
The minute we say Jesus is the only way to Heaven, we are criticized severely. While we do have religious freedom in our country, I can never, however, as a Christian, say all religions are equal. For if we take from or add to the Scriptures, we soon have a powerless religion.
Another man has a very good friend who suddenly dies. After the funeral, a few of the man’s friends were visiting, when one of them says, “Peter is in a better place. He suffered so much.” Then each of the men says a bit about Peter. Finally, it is the evangelical Christian’s turn. He says, “Well, gentleman you will not like what I am going to tell you. I loved our friend, but he was not a believer in Jesus Christ. You assure yourself in the fact that there are all kinds of religions out there, and they are all trying to get to the same place. But Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.”
The Christian must remain steadfast in the teaching that there is no other way to heaven except through Him. Jesus Christ proclaimed Himself a King and the only way to heaven. We cannot chip off little parts that are offensive to our society. We need to stand up to our groups and say, “My Savior is Christ Jesus; He is my King!”
If you are one of those who is willing to accept Jesus up to a point and then no more, I hurry on to say to you, you are not yet a Christian. As a humanist, you may love Jesus, but are reluctant to call Him the King. But you must receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and your Lord Ð your only Savior in order to receive salvation.
Evangelical Christians today need to continue to be bathed in Christ Jesus. We must be willing to proclaim Him as our only King and the Lord Almighty in our life. I ask you today, friends, This Lord Jesus, who called Himself a King, is He your King? Do you love Him? Do you want Him?