The Leader We Long For

02 Jan

I can’t decide if I’m glad or sad that 2015 is not an election year. There is a tinge of sadness because I like the drama of politics, and I enjoy watching the polls and the races. It’s a bit like a sports event to me, except certainly more monumental and important.

But I’m glad because all of our focus on the supposed solution of politics is really a chimera, that is, a mirage, a dream that will never come to pass. Now, mind you, politicians matter, but we think they matter more than they actually do. Christians fall into this thinking all the time. I have a pastor friend who absolutely hates election time, because he knows that he will be getting pressure to go public in support of a particular candidate or issue, and if he doesn’t, some will skewer him as not caring about what really matters. Personally, I’ve not really seen much of this, though there have been moments.

I think we get this longing for good leaders naturally. We were created to be led, and in our hearts, we long to be led well. But in the end, politicians of all stripes are just men and women whom Scripture warns us not to put our trust in. (Psalm 146:3, 4)

But of course, not all “rulers” are created equal. Today’s passage celebrates a leader, a ruler, who will also be a shepherd.

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
– Matthew 2:6 (ESV)

So Jesus rules us in might and power. He is our Lord and God. More crassly, He is the Boss; He tells us what to do. But more than that, we learn that He is also our Shepherd. He takes care to see that we are fed…and protected…and loved. He is the perfectly benevolent ruler, the consummate “good” King.

He is the One our hearts will really be longing for when elections come around again next year, and we will never be ultimately satisfied with any leader other than Him.

On Monday, January 5: Matthew 3


Posted by on January 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


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9 responses to “The Leader We Long For

  1. Clarice

    January 2, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Well said and something we need to keep in mind..our steadfast hope….ck


  2. rogerknowlton

    January 2, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Thanks Clarice! Glad to have you part of our Inspired program!


  3. vicky oppermann

    January 2, 2015 at 8:07 am

    I love the blogs Roger, they help to put into perspective, the reading for the day. Well said as Clarice put it.


    • rogerknowlton

      January 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement Vicky, and like I said at Edgewood, no problem calling them blogs!


  4. Gary Cross

    January 2, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Have you heard of: Echoes of Jesus: Does the New Testament Reflect What He Said? by Jonathan Clerke Many find it impossible to believe Jesus’ words were recorded accurately because he did not write the New Testament himself and there were no mechanical or electronic methods of recording his teachings. Furthermore, surely the hand-copying over the centuries must have distorted the original manuscripts. This book presents evidence showing that the New Testament is an accurate portrayal of the life and teachings of Jesus.

    Echoes of Jesus is unique because it: • Illustrates how literate and historically aware the ancient civilisations were before and during the life of Jesus • Explains how it was possible for the first disciples to accurately record Jesus’ life and teachings • Provides a highly readable explanation of ancient New Testament documents and what they have to say about accuracy in copying over hundreds of years •Discusses the content and credibility of non-Christian ancient literature that comment on Jesus and the first Christians Sounds interesting and apparently validates the accuracy of the New Testament.  I haven’t been able to find it online or in the library system. Apparently only available as a Kindle book. 

    Gary Cross (920) 382-6248


    • rogerknowlton

      January 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Sounds like an excellent work, Gary. Of course, as to His words being recorded accurately, that strikes me as a “God question”. If God is real, then Jesus said that His Holy Spirit would bring to mind what He had said. And of course, Jesus spoke in Aramaic and they recorded in Greek, so there was some flexibility in how the different gospel writers translated. But I have not heard of it.


  5. Laura Welch

    January 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    When reading Gary’s post, I thought ” I’ve got to get that book”, to prove to those skeptics I hear from. (Yeah, yet another book). But then it came to me, unless the Holy Spirit helps someone understand the Scripture, they really aren’t going to “get it” anyway..


  6. Kathy Huizenga

    January 3, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Where in the prophets does it say “He will be called a Nazarene”? Could not find it in the concordance.


    • rogerknowlton

      January 5, 2015 at 6:33 am

      Hey Kathy,
      It’s an interesting question. Take a look at this note from the Apologetics study Bible…

      2:23 According to Lk 1:26 and 2:4, Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth prior to the birth of Jesus, prompting some to claim that Matthew was unaware of this and thus presented Bethlehem as their hometown. But Matthew’s focus was only the well-known fact that Nazareth was Jesus’ hometown at the start of His ministry. He was not concerned to tell the reader the hometown of Jesus’ parents. Though he first mentioned them in connection with the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem, he nowhere stated that Bethlehem was their hometown. The quote corresponds to no known passage in the OT. The best possibility is that Matthew alluded to Is 11:1 (“shoot” = Hb nezer), but others suggest that “a Nazarene” is a title of dishonor and thus alludes to those texts in which the Messiah is despised (e.g., Ps 22:6-8; Is 53:2-3). The two may go together, since Is 11:1 describes the Messiah as arising from the ignominious conditions into which David’s house had fallen and has links to the Servant of Is 49-53 (see Is 11:1,10,12; 49:22; 53:2).

      Hope that’s helpful!



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