Fri, 12 January 2018
(1Sm.9:1-4,17-19,10:1; Ps.21:2-7; Mk.2:13-17)
“You are to govern the Lord’s people Israel,
and to save them from the grasp of their enemies round about.”
Tall and handsome, Saul gives every appearance of a king. And so God gives the people what they want in this “handsome young man” who “stood head and shoulders above the people.” But with Saul the Lord shall indeed prove that it is not upon appearances He gazes. In the failure of Saul’s reign will be revealed the emptiness of such outward attraction and our proclivity to desire what is appealing to the eye. For Saul shall not prove to be God’s anointed; His Christ shall be quite another.
It is not of Saul our psalm of David sings when it speaks of the blessings of the king. The “majesty and splendor [the Lord] conferred upon him” is as passing as his beauty. The “crown of pure gold” is to be placed upon the head of Jesus Christ alone; it is He the Father has made “a blessing forever.” His glory will be reflected in David, the ruddy shepherd youth whose son he is called, but will be fulfilled only in the Person of Jesus. It is He in whom all kings rejoice, in whom all find “the joy of [God’s] presence,” in whom all discover victory.
In our gospel, Jesus, the true king, comes, not with stately train, but “walking along the lakeshore.” And crowds of people follow Him, people not of power and riches or reputation; rather, “many tax collectors and those known as sinners joined Him.” This greatly disturbed the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees – it was not according to their vision of who He should be and what He should do. “Why does He eat with such as these?” they complain to His disciples. But He has a ready answer, one which cuts to the heart of us all and reveals the nature and purpose of this true king: “People who are healthy do not need a doctor; sick people do.” And so the Savior comes into our midst, neither tall nor handsome nor desiring praise, to save us from our sin.
We are all sick, brothers and sisters! Make no doubt; have no question about it. We need Him! It is this king and the “goodly blessings” that flow from Him that must be our heart’s desire, for He alone will bring us into the joy of the kingdom; He alone will save us from the sin into which we have all fallen. Let us follow Him as Levi, leaving behind our sinful station in life, and He will govern us well.
O LORD, Jesus you have made King over us
that we might be saved from sin
and rejoice in your presence forever.
YHWH, your Son, our King, has come to call us from our sin, to save men in need of healing. And who among us is not in need of Him? Pity the poor soul who thinks himself so.
What are we in your sight, O LORD? However tall we might be, we are no more than ants. To you all men are sick and in need of a physician; you see how quickly our beauty fades.
Oh if we could only see as you see! If we could only recognize your greatness among us in the humble stature of Jesus, the holy One. Make us ready to follow Him as Matthew from his post. Somehow open our eyes to see His gaze passing before us.
Save us from the grasp of our enemies round about. Only you could govern us; only in you could we rejoice in victory. O LORD, let us join your Son in majesty and splendor – for us He is a blessing forever. In Him we find all we need. In Him we are all anointed kings.