The Good King who brings us together

Romans 15:1–33


It’s one of those BIG words in the New Testament. Pretty important. And one of those words we say so often, I wonder if we forget what it means.

It’s a title. It names a specific role. Like “President.” Or “Chairman.” It’s a Greek word that’s Hebrew equivalent in the Old Testament of “Messiah,” and that means “Anointed One.” It’s the title that the ancient Jews gave to their king. Saul is called Israel’s “Anointed One.” So is David. In fact, David comes to be the standard for every king after him, and so the “Anointed One” came to be the expectation for the one who would lead, protect, and deliver God’s people.

I’ve been thinking about using “The Good King” everywhere I see “Christ” in the New Testament to remind me of all those background that comes with “Christ.”

In the last 3 chapters of Romans, Paul has suggested some pretty big lifestyle changes. Practical stuff. And we can’t kid ourselves that it might be easy. It isn’t. So why does Paul expect this group of Roman Christians (and us, for that matter) to be able to do any of this?

Look to the example of Jesus, “The Good King,” says Paul. Five times in the first 8 verses, Paul uses Jesus’ title:

For The Good King did not please himself (v. 3).

May God… grant you to live… with one another, in accord with The Good King Jesus (v. 5).

…So you may… glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus The Good King (v. 6).

Welcome one another as The Good King has welcomed you (v. 7).

The Good King became a servant (v. 8).

And then Paul reminds us about the theme of unity in this letter. The Good King came for both Jews and Gentiles. Paul rattles off four quotations from Psalms, Isaiah, and Deuteronomy as a reminder that this was God’s plan from the very beginning and not a brand new idea of God’s.


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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