In the C.S. Lewis’ book the Horse and His Boy, Shasta is a slave boy on the verge of being sold to an even harsher slave master. He is frustrated and absconds to the stable where he begins venting his pitiful situation aloud. To his surprise, a horse in the stable responds and convinces him to escape to the north, to Narnia. As Shasta and the talking horse, Bree, journey to the north, a lion pursues them, and they barely escape. Along the way, Shasta learns he is not just a fugitive slave. As a boy, a Narnian centaur prophesied that Archenland’s Prince Cor (Shasta’s true identity) would deliver a crucial victory over his people’s chief enemy. To thwart this plan, Prince Cor was kidnapped and eventually sold into slavery as a child. But the prophecy set in motion years ago is fulfilled. Cor does bring victory to his people and sits on the throne of Archenland. But this happens because Aslan, the lion of Narnia, governed the events of Cor’s life. First, he made sure Cor was rescued as a child though it led to a period of captivity. Second, Aslan is revealed as the lion that chased Prince Cor and Bree, but he did it so they could get to Cor’s father in time to warn him of an imminent attack on their people. All along the harrowing journey, Cor realizes Aslan has been protecting him and guiding him. He has a destiny, and Aslan ensures he fulfills it.
Thousands of years ago, God Himself set in motion a prophecy and a plan to save mankind from its greatest enemies–sin and death. Through the generations, God sent prophets to provide insight and details of the Promised King who would free His people. Jesus, His very own Son, was the fulfillment of the prophecy, and His destiny was to defeat sin and death.
At the beginning of his gospel (chapters 1 and 2), Matthew makes the case that Jesus is the long-awaited, Promised King. Further, He is the King of Kings, because He is the Son of God.
- Divine DNA – Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit – born to a virgin (v. 18, 23—fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy)
- Davidic (King) lineage – Son of Man thru the line of David (v. 20 – greater King than David)
- Angelic involvement – birth announcement (v. 20); escape to Egypt (2:13); return (2:19)
- Worshiped as king by magi from the east. The magi were likely Babylonian astronomers, and their presence points to the worldwide impact of this King. God will draw Jews and Gentiles alike to His Son. Jesus’ birth was a gift to all nations—not just Jewish people
- Jesus was presented with gifts fit for a king – worship, gold, frankincense, myrrh
- Cosmos was involved in the King’s birth announcement; the star led the magi to the Son of God
- Shepherd king – threatened earthly king (like David, another shepherd king, threatened Saul; Jesus threatened Herod)
- Given the names Immanuel (God with us) and Jesus (meaning Yahweh is salvation)
- Fulfilled prophecies (born to a virgin; called Immanuel (Isaiah’s prophecies); born in Bethlehem (Micah’s prophecy – 2:6); shepherd King (2:6); escape from Egypt (Hosea’s prophecy, 2:14)
- Mathematics professor Peter Stoner, in his classic book Science Speaks, calculated the chance of any man fulfilling these prophecies, even down to the present time, to be more than 1 in quadrillion or 1 to 100,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 17th power).
- Jesus is the true Israel. Like nation of Israel, Jesus came from Egypt on a mission. It entailed perfect obedience to God the Father to save the world and defeat our greatest enemies: sin and death
- God’s plan cannot be thwarted by mere mortals – like Cor was destined to save His people from their enemies, Jesus was destined to save us from sin and death despite the will of evil men.
After making the case for Jesus’ divinity, Matthew reveals two ways we respond to the Son of God, King of Kings. We’ll look at those two different paths in the coming days.