Jesus the King

by Mar 31, 2015

Here are some excerpts from Tim Keller’s book, Jesus the King:

“If Jesus is the King, you cannot make him a means to your end.  You can’t come to a king negotiating.  You lay your sword at a King’s feet and say, ‘Command me.’ If you try to negotiate and say, ‘I’ll obey you if…,’ you aren’t recognizing him as a king.  But don’t forget this: Jesus is not just a king, he’s a king on a cross.  If he were only a king on a throne, you’d submit to him just because you have to.  But he’s a king who went to the cross for you.  Therefore, you can submit to him out of love and trust.  This means coming to him not negotiating but saying, ‘Lord, whatever you ask I will do, whatever you send I will accept.’  When someone gave himself utterly for you, how can you not give yourself utterly to him?…

For us, the kingdom of God begins in weakness, relinquishment, giving up our rights to our own life; it begins with admitting that we need a Savior.  We need someone to actually fulfill all the requirements and pay for our sin.  That’s weakness.  Jesus started in weakness— first, by becoming human, and second, by going to a cross.  And if we want him in our life, we have to start in weakness too.  The kingdom begins there, but it won’t end there.  Someday, when Jesus returns and ushers in a renewed creation, love will totally triumph over hate and life will totally triumph over death.”

(Ch. 8: The Turn)

“Imagine sitting down with a seven-year-old and saying, ‘I’d like you to write me an essay about what you think it’s like to fall in love and be married.”  When you read the essay, you will say it isn’t very close to reality.  A seven-year-old can’t imagine what love and marriage will be like.  When you begin to follow Jesus, you’re at least that far away.  You have no idea how far you’ll have to go.

Jesus says, ‘Follow me.  I’m going to take you on a journey, and I don’t want you to turn to the left or to the right.  I want you to put me first; I want you to keep trusting me; to stick with me, not turn back, not give up, turn to me in all the disappointments and injustices that will happen to you.  I’m going to take you places that will make you say, ‘Why in the world are you taking me there?’ Even then, I want you to trust me.’”

(Ch. 2: The Call)