What’s in a title?
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Luke 23:38 (NIV)
Why are titles so important to people?
In a way it is like ‘instant branding’. The title shapes others’ perceptions of who you are in comparison to them. It tells them about you and what you do, and sadly, in some instances, it places a value on you.
Many years ago I was introduced to my husband’s work colleagues at a big fancy party in downtown Chicago. I shook hands with the Chief Executive, Head of Procurement, and Executive Assistant, and when I was asked what I did, I really wanted to be able to say something impressive. It was on the tip of my tongue to use the job description Domestic Engineer, but instead I simply said I was a homemaker and was looking after my two young children. I could tell I was immediately dismissed as someone not important, and people drifted away to seek out those more worthy of their time and attention.
A great irony is that when our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, hung on the cross at Golgotha, the place called the Skull, he was given a title: King of the Jews. It was not, however, a mark of deep respect and a recognition of who he was or how he was valued. No, it was a charge against him: one worthy of death.
He was mocked, sneered, and laughed at. His ‘title’ was used to ridicule him. People must have thought, ‘Surely if he was a king, he is not one now.’A king stripped and executed in public view had obviously lost his kingdom forever. Little did they know that he is God’s king who has eternal authority over the entire universe.
As the sign said, Jesus is King of the Jews – and of the Gentiles and the whole universe. All power and authority has been given to him and there is no higher name or title under heaven. He is Son of Man, God Most High.
Now there’s a title to live up to and of course, only Jesus can.
Our heavenly Father, we thank you that Jesus was willing to come to earth, giving
up his heavenly glory and status to be with us. He is our King, full of mercy,
compassion and forgiveness and the sign that was nailed above him on the cross,
which was meant to bring death, now brings us life. In his name we pray, Amen.
Study by Jackie Mill
About the writer:
Jackie Mill is a minister in Grace Communion International and Co-Regional Pastor for Scotland and Ireland.
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