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This sermon was one of eight, delivered at the 2022 Proclaim Conference, which is hosted by our Kenyan council member Ken Mbugua, Emmanuel Baptist Church, and Ekklesia Afrika. The conference’s theme and title was The Whole Christ, with each sermon making a case for the sufficiency and relevance of both Jesus’ person and work, for all of life.
True, Christians are those who have personally trusted in Christ. They are those who appropriate his death and resurrection by faith. But in this sermon John Musyimi argues that Christians should find Jesus breathtaking. One of the reasons that we aren’t daily captivated by the Christ is that we don’t meditate on his unparalleled excellency.
Reflecting on 1 Kings 10:1-13 and Jesus’ teaching on that Old Testament event, John Musyimi reminds us that King Solomon was just a shadow of the greatest king, King Jesus. Yet the Queen of Sheba paid a tremendous tribute to Solomon. Thus, so the argument goes, how much more should this story exhort us to consider the far greater excellency of Christ?
The Excellency of Christ
John comments on the Queen of Sheba’s visit to Solomon saying: “This queen who was breath-taken by Solomon’s wisdom and wealth would condemn the Jews who are sceptical of Jesus, because Jesus is greater than Solomon. The Queen of Sheba would consider King Jesus to be more impressive, more breathtaking, and wiser…She would consider anyone to be a fool who had failed to be impressed and awed, and captivated by King Jesus. King Solomon is only a foreshadow of King Jesus.”
Christians are people who have been captivated and overwhelmed by the excellence of Jesus.
He then calls on everyone to come and behold this excellent king. John continues, “Are you here and you’re not a Christian? Come to King Jesus like the Queen of Sheba did to King Solomon. Come and behold King Jesus—look at his wisdom and beauty. May you be overwhelmed with King Jesus. That’s what Christians are, people who have been captivated, and overwhelmed, and breath-taken by King Jesus. May you be utterly impressed with him now. May his beauty make your sin look ugly.”
If you can’t listen or watch this sermon, you can always read the transcript below. You also might want to check out a few related articles:
- In a World That’s Increasingly Grey, God is Good
- What’s the Secret? Jesus is Enough
- Three Warnings for Those Who Preach the Word
Text: 1 Kings 10:1-13
Date preached: 23 September 2022
Location: 2022 Proclaim Conference, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Nairobi, Kenya
Well, good afternoon to you all.
Early on our brother Chopo was speaking about spiritual warfare and when you are the last speaker at a conference, at the end of the day you are wrestling with not only principalities and powers but also the effects of lunch. So, I pray that the Lord would grant us grace to pay attention well this afternoon.
Let me invite our attention to the book of 1 Kings 10:1-13. 1 Kings 10:1-13. Did I say chapter 1? Yeah, as you can see the warfare has begun. 1Kings 10:1-13. If you’re able to let me request us to stand for the reading of God’s word. I’m reading from the English Standard Version.
1 Kings 10:1-13
“Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her.
And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard. Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again came such an abundance of spices as these that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. Moreover, the fleet of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a very great amount of almug wood and precious stones. And the king made of the almug wood supports for the house of the Lord and for the king’s house, also lyres and harps for the singers. No such almug wood has come or been seen to this day. And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what was given her by the bounty of King Solomon. So, she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.”
And this is the Word of the Lord.
A Good Impression
You may have your seats. They say, you can never get a second chance at a first impression. The reason they say that is because they know whoever they are, they know the value of a good impression – a good impression is valuable for getting a job, it is valuable for if you’re a guy convincing a lady to date you and hopefully marry you. A good impression is valuable for getting a man to notice you if you are a lady. A bad impression can be quite costly. Now sometimes we try so hard to impress others and our efforts collapse under their own weight. Think of a man who is trying to sound more intelligent than he actually is, and who ends up embarrassing himself by uttering something quite ridiculous or the person who tries to be funny and ends up telling a completely flat joke more flat than a coke that has been opened for two days.
We all want to make a good impression on others. But have you ever been truly impressed? Have you ever met someone that deeply and profoundly impressed you? I mean impressed you to the core of your soul. That kind of an impression is a powerful force. It is the kind of impression that influences and shapes how you live. Have you noticed that the people you imitate are the people you admire? They impress you into imitating them – taking on their behaviour, their habits, their way of thinking. To be impressed is to have our hearts captured and captivated, to be thrilled, to have our boredom vanquished. It is to be so caught up in another person as to find ourselves becoming less of ourselves and more like them. To be truly impressed is to be transformed. Question before us therefore is; Is there someone impressive enough to captivate our hearts away from what we are into what we should be? Away from our sin and selfishness, away from our despair, away from our lust and pornography, away from our unforgiveness and resentment, away from our doubts and scepticism.
Three Major Moves
My hope Is that in this passage we will discover a person so impressive as to transform us. Our passage helps us probe this question through the experience of the Queen of Sheba with King Solomon. There are three major moves in this passage: She came, she saw, he conquered. For those of you who are taking notes that’s our outline. She came, she saw, he conquered.
First, she came: Our narrative begins with a state visit. It details the coming to Jerusalem of the Queen of Sheba. Three times in the passage we are told, ‘she came’; Middle of 1 Kings 10:1, “…. she came to test him.” Beginning of 1 Kings 10:2, “……she came to Jerusalem.” At the end of 1 Kings 10:2, “….and when she came to Solomon…” This coming is significant that’s why it’s repeated three times; she came, she came, she came – it’s significant for several reasons. First, the journey itself was long and would have taken many months, some commentators say as much as three years. Now, Sheba was most probably a kingdom not in Africa as Africans like to claim but in Arabia. Second, this coming is significant because of who it is that comes. It is none other than the queen herself – the leader of an entire nation, it is not an emissary, an ambassador that comes (a representative) but it is the big boss herself. Third, this coming is significant because of what she comes with. As was custom in those days, she comes bearing gifts. So, look at 1 Kings 10:2, “She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones.” Great retinue, very much gold. Later we’ll be told these spices are the greatest amount of spices ever seen in Jerusalem brought by this queen. This tells us something of the wealth of her own kingdom. She is not a small player on the global scene. She’s a major figure – she is quite impressive herself. She has a great retinue that she comes with and it is reflected in the quality of the gifts that she comes with. But fourthly, and most significantly, this coming is significant because of the reason why she comes. Why is a queen of another nation traveling for such a long distance to come to Jerusalem? Well, we are told in 1 Kings 10:1, look there, “She (Queen of Sheba), heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord.” So, she came because she heard of the fame of Solomon. The fame of Solomon is the impetus behind this journey. The fame of Solomon is the fuel driving a whole Queen across a desert on a long journey to see Solomon the fame of Solomon. It’s not the camels, it’s the fame of Solomon that is bearing her across the desert. Solomon was a kind of ancient near Eastern rock star, kind of Michael Jackson of his day. His reputation had spread to places where he himself had never gone. His fame had reached the ears of this queen and what she heard was enough to make her pack, rise, and head to Jerusalem. What was Solomon famous for? Again 1 Kings 10:1, his fame was concerning the name of the Lord. It’s a cryptic phrase which could mean one of two things; it could mean all the things that God had done through Solomon, or the building stuff that he has done, or it could mean Solomon’s great knowledge of God and of the things of God, or it could mean both. The bottom line is, Solomon’s fame had God’s name on it. And so, driven by the fame of Solomon, she came.
Now we ask the question: What did she intend to do when she came? What’s going on in her mind and her heart all those months possibly years weathering the vicissitudes, the vagaries of journey? Look at the second part of 1 Kings 10:1, “…. she came to test him with hard questions.” She was not fully convinced that Solomon was as impressive as she was hearing. “He can’t really be that great, can he? Is it possible that they have oversold him? Might it be that there is some exaggeration here?” She wanted to confirm for herself so she came. She came armed with hard questions we are told, to test him not just with any kinds of questions, hard questions. For she had heard that Solomon was wise. The fame of Solomon seemed to rest on how he conducted himself, how he governed with wisdom. The Queen of Sheba wants to see just how deep, and far, and wide this famed wisdom of Solomon goes and so she comes. What happened when she finally got there? Look at the end of 1 Kings 10:2, “…. when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind.” So presumably after some rest I’m assuming she said, “Hi, my name is the Queen of Sheba….” All that stuff, rested, refreshed, she went right to work with her hard questions – nothing was left out, all that was on her mind. Nothing was withheld. Every question, every scenario, every riddle was asked. Can you hear her? “What do you think of the geopolitical situation in the Middle East Solomon? How would you handle the fighting between Nation X and Nation Y? What about this issue over there? I have often wondered about this governance issue, what are your thoughts on it Solomon? How do you manage this over here?” And on, and on she went until remarkably she had nothing left to ask and she’s a she. The well of her inquisition was dried up completely. Her mind could not generate another query. Everything had been poured out – hard questions.
How did King Solomon perform? Well, look at 1 Kings 10:3, “And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her.” Wow. He answered everything; systematically, logically, thoroughly, patiently, winsomely. Nothing was too hard for Solomon to deal with, no question too complicated, no riddle too twisted, no mystery too profound, no scenario too difficult. There was nothing hidden from the King that he could not explain to her.
Have you ever done a hard exam? Right, this is not an altar call you don’t need to come to the front because of conviction. The kind of exam that has the kind of question that immediately depress you, harass you. One of our exams that we used to do was called mock exams – because of how they mocked us, mocked our intelligence. Many of us know how 844 exams traumatized us. Exams were generally the staff of nightmares for us. You really remember yourself opening your question sheet and looking at question one and you’re like, “Yup! I have failed.” Question two, “I have no idea what they are asking.” Question three, “What is going on here?” And then you see the choppie in the class go to the front and that’s for an extra sheet of paper. And you’re like, “For what? Where?” Hard questions!
We know how hard it is to handle hard questions. The amount of knowledge we would have to possess to answer them is usually too much for us. For most of us, for most of us, a child could ask us a question that would utterly dumbfound us. My elder son Taji once asked, “Papa who created sin?” My wife, his mom who’s here – was playing violin, helpfully as my helper looked and said, “Ehe Pastor?” Suitable helpmate. And I was like, “First of all my son Taji, have you finished your homework?” So, to answer all the hard questions of a head of state, and to do so satisfactorily, this king is impressive.
So much for her coming to test the king. What then did she see? Our second point; she came, she saw.
She saw. Having had all her questions answered by the king, we are then told what she witnessed and how it affected her. So, look at 1 Kings 10:4-5, “And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her.” The description of what she sees pertains to the impressiveness of his wisdom, his way of life and his worship.
First, 1Kings 10:4, she saw all the wisdom of Solomon. Perhaps speaking of how he governed his people, perhaps how he judged difficult cases, perhaps he organized his kingdom, perhaps how he spoke in meetings with his leaders, perhaps all of the above and more but she saw his wisdom in action. Then she saw his way of life 1 Kings 10:4, she saw that the house he had built, the majestic house he has he had built. This house took Solomon 13 years to build. It was a palace that was made of costly stones and cedar wood. She also saw the operations of the palace 1 Kings 10:5, the food that was served there day after day, the amounts of the food, the quality of the food, the way his officials were arranged around his table, the impressive manner in which his servants were dressed – how beautifully the servants were dressed. And how organized they were when they served; how they came in, how they went out, there was brilliance, there was order, there was excellence, there was wisdom, there was beauty to all of it. Thirdly, she sees his worship end of 1 Kings 10:5, she saw the burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord. The house of the Lord here speaking of the temple that took him seven years to build, the temple itself was a marvellous sight to behold. It was decked with the beautiful patterns on the world, it was overlaid with gold on the inside. The Shekinah glory of God would be in its holy of holies, the altar of sacrifice was this massive thing that you had to walk upstairs to get to the top to do your burnt offerings. She saw his burnt offerings.
Now you read that and you’re like, “Why would she be impressed by that?” Well, it’s cause Solomon we are told, was in the habit of offering something close to a thousand burnt offerings. What utter devotion to his God? What extravagance, what lavishness in his worship? He goes above and beyond the call of duty. There was never any command to offer that many burnt offerings. This was just loyalty, devotion, love to the Lord, she sees all of that. How beautiful this temple is that he has built for the Lord! And we are left with the question; How does seeing all this affect our dear Queen? Did she yawn in boredom and say, “Oh, I’ve seen that, I’ve been there, I have done that.” Oh, here’s the climax of this story, End of 1 Kings 10:5, “…. there was no more breath left in her.” Not only are there no more questions in her mind, there is no more air in her lungs. She is utterly breath taken; she is near fainting. Some of your versions will say that she was overwhelmed. Oh, I love that KJV he said, “…. she had no more spirit left in her.” Everywhere she turned she was being confronted by something utterly brilliant, utterly captivating, utterly majestic, utterly excellent – this king is impressive. She came, she saw, he conquered.
Our third point he conquered. When the Queen of Sheba was coming in 1 Kings 10:1, we were faced with this tension, this potential conflict in the passage. Would her hard questions overwhelm this king? Would have great amount of gold, and precious stones, and spices overwhelm this king? Would her own personal greatness and dignity as a queen, her great retinue, would it overwhelm this king? The answer we get is that, it is she who is overwhelmed. It is she who has her breath taken away. It is she who is conquered by the utter brilliance of this king. She came, she saw, he conquered. And so, she’s left to do what anyone in her position is left to do, she has to break forth in spontaneous praise. she had no other otherwise, it just bubbled out of her. Praise is the appointed end of our enjoyment – of that which is beautiful. And so, 1 Kings 10:6-9, having regained her breath presumably. 1 Kings 10:6, “And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard. Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” Her praise takes three shapes; First, she praises him, second, she praises his servants, thirdly, she praises his God. Notice first her praise for the king, 1 Kings 10:6-7, can be summarized as follows; She says, ‘The report was true, at first I did not believe it till I came and I saw for myself and I didn’t even know the half of it.’ She recognizes that this king is more impressive than she realized. He was actually more impressive than he was famous. His fame was actually far less than what he actually was in real life. His wisdom was actually greater than was reported.
There’s a common phrase in our age that says, “Never meet your heroes.” And the reason we are told that is because we are told we need to manage our expectation about people we admire because they are usually not as advertised, they usually fall short of what we are told about them. But with Solomon it’s actually the opposite. Solomon was actually better than the great reports about him. Secondly, she praises his servants – this is amazing! 1 Kings 10:8, “Happy are your men! (Some versions say wife) Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! It’s almost like she is saying, “I, a whole Queen, envy your servants. I wish I was one of them because they get to be in your presence and hear your wisdom all the time.” How impressive does a person have to be for you to wish you could trade places with their servants? “I am happy to be a watchman. I’m happy to serve you tea, fire that servant give me the job.” Thirdly she praises his God 1 Kings 10:9, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” Praise be to your God who has done this.
The fame of Solomon had God’s name on it. “God has done this. God delights in you like a father delights in his son. He has set you Solomon on the throne of Israel and in setting you on the throne of Israel, he is loving Israel because you are executing righteousness and justice. Praise be to your God who has through you created a kingdom where righteousness and justice reigns.” After her praise comes her gifts. Remember the gold she brought, the precious stones, the spices, she now gives them to the king. 1 Kings 10:10, ” Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again came such an abundance of spices as these that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.”
If at first, she had thought she would impress him with her gifts, now she knows she cannot. Now she offers these gifts because she sees that he is worthy of the honour of receiving them and they are very great in their amount. Then we get two weird verses, 1 Kings 10:11-12. Moreover, he talks about wood coming in through the fleet of Hiram and you’re like, “What is this doing here?” This passage lets us know that while Solomon was receiving these great gifts from the queen, there were also other precious material arriving from other places. There was almug wood coming in from Ophir which the king would use to build supports for the temple, and his house, and musical instruments – a very rare and precious kind of wood. And then precious stones are also coming in from elsewhere. It’s a picture of wealth just pouring in. It starts with ‘moreover,’ it’s not just the Queen of Sheba bringing in wealth, it is also Solomon’s other ships, other activities bringing in wealth.
Solomon, the point of these two passages is almost to say, Solomon was not beholden to this queen for her gifts. He didn’t need them, he wasn’t impressed by them, moreover as she is bringing her gold, he’s getting a report that the other gold has arrived. As he is receiving her precious stones, he’s getting the report that the shipment of precious stones has arrived. The narrative ends with Solomon in turn giving the queen a bounty of gifts for her journey home 1 Kings 10:13, “And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what was given her by the bounty of King Solomon.
So, she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.” Oh, and you can bet, she goes back a totally new woman. She doesn’t go back the same person she came. Whatever she wanted, he gave her and this is in addition to what he had already given her out of the bounty of his riches. She most likely went back with more than she came with. And the line reads that, “…. she turned back and went back to her own land with her servants.” The trip was more than worth it. Her questions – answered, her breath – taken away, all her desires – granted by this king. This king is impressive.
Jesus Christ in Light of 1 Kings 10:1-13
Well dear saints, I hear you ask how do we connect these things to Christ? This is a conference about Christ not about Solomon, isn’t it? Well, all right, let us connect it using Christ’s own words. Turn to Matthew 12:42, Matthew 12:42. These are the words of Jesus, Matthew 12:42, Jesus says there to the Jews who had asked him for a sign, he says, quoting this story, “The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”
What Jesus is saying is that this queen who was breath taken by Solomon’s wisdom and wealth would condemn the Jews who are sceptical of Jesus because he (Jesus), is greater than Solomon. The Queen of Sheba would consider King Jesus to be more impressive, more breath-taking, more wise than King Solomon. She would consider anyone to be a fool who had failed to be impressed and awed, and captivated by King Jesus. King Solomon is only a foreshadowing of King Jesus. King Solomon was only pointing us forward to King Jesus. Behold something greater than Solomon is here. King Solomon was a son of David. Jesus is the son of David – the greater son of David. King Solomon was visited by a queen with gifts of gold and spices.
Well, that happened to Jesus when he was still a small boy. Magi from the East – they came bearing gifts of gold and spices for the one who was born the king of the Jews. At the end of all things, everyone will be throwing their crowns at the feet of King Jesus. King Solomon answered all her questions. Well, Jesus not only answered the questions of those who admired him, he answered the questions of his enemies who are trying to trap him. And when he was done answering, we are told that everyone marvelled at his words. King Solomon had a great palace with well-dressed servants. Well, King Jesus sits at the right hand of the majesty in heaven. He is served by millions of powerful and majestic angels. He is the Lord of hosts. King Solomon had a great Kingdom, well, King Jesus has one that is greater still. His rule extends over the entire universe. He has all authority in heaven and on earth. The whole earth is full of the glory of King Jesus.
King Solomon’s kingdom comes to a tragic end – it was squandered and split by his son. Oh, but King Jesus, his kingdom is forever, his dominion is an everlasting dominion, his kingdom cannot be destroyed – it cannot be stopped, it will not wither or decay. It will not be split; it is an eternally glorious Kingdom. A whole new heaven and a new earth. King Solomon was famous. Well, let me tell you about the fame of King Jesus, he has a name above every name, a name known in heaven and on earth and under the earth. The whole earth is filled with his glory, his fame like the waters cover the sea. There isn’t any language, any tribe, any nation that will not name the name of Jesus.
Sadly, King Solomon eventually turned away from the Lord. He ended up as a moral and a spiritual failure but not so with King Jesus, he lived a sinless life, he served God with all purity, all his life. And then he did something King Solomon could not do, he died in order to save his people. He gave his precious life so that people from every nation tribe and tongue could be blessed forever in him, so that they could have every spiritual blessing in Christ to be theirs. He laid aside his heavenly glory for a time so that he could suffer and die in order to bring many sons into glory. And this is not all, when it comes to the excellency of King Jesus, we don’t even know the half of it. 1 Corinthians13:12, we only know in part. We only see through a glass dimly. what awaits us in glory no eye has seen it no ear has fully heard it, it has not entered fully into the heart of any man. What God has in store for us brothers and sisters, King Jesus is more impressive than we can imagine. Our minds are not capable of fully grasping the extent of his majesty, his wisdom, his love, his grace. What a treat being in glory with him will be, what breath-taking sights await us, what overwhelming glories he has in store for us. Every moment in eternity will be an adventure of discovery, of some new delight. We will be continually breath taken. “No more spirit in me.” And then you behold some dimension of his glory, “No more spirit in me again.” And then you behold another dimension of his glory, “And no more spirit left in me again – overwhelmed.” We cannot exhaust his brilliance. This is the excellency and brilliance of King Jesus. This king is impressive – behold something greater than Solomon is here.
A Call to Come and Behold Jesus
Are you here and you’re not a Christian? Come to King Jesus like the Queen of Sheba did to King Solomon. Come and behold King Jesus – look at his wisdom and Beauty. Look at him going everywhere and doing good, look at him healing and restoring broken bodies, look at him pouring out the treasures of heavenly wisdom on common people, look at him forgiving sinners, look at him delivering people from the oppression of demons, look at him multiplying food to feed thousands, look at him bending down to wash the feet of his friends, look at him transfigured on the mountain his face shining like the sun, look at him talking to the winds and the waves and making them calm down.
Look at him receiving to himself the judgment and the condemnation that is due to you, look at him there on the cross suffering on your behalf. He came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. See him there suffering God’s wrath that is due to you my non-Christian friend. Look at him dying, groaning, crying out on the cross. See him being laid in the tomb. And then see him defeat death and rise triumphantly from the grave, see him ascend and sit at the right hand of the father in glory. See him now ruling and reigning overall. Go on and look into the future my non-Christian friend, see him returning in glory – blazing glory to bring all who as he is with him in glory. And ask yourself, will you be among them? My non-Christian friend, may you be overwhelmed with King Jesus. That’s what Christians are, people who have been captivated, and overwhelmed, and breath taken by King Jesus. May you be utterly impressed with him now. May his beauty make your sin look ugly.
The reason you’ve not turned to him is because your sin looks more impressive than he does. May he open your eyes to see how impressive he is. May it cause you to turn from it and trust in him. Oh, and dear saints, may we all join the Queen of Sheba in exclaiming how happy are those who serve King Jesus! How happy are those who will live forever with him in his kingdom! How happy we will be when we dwell in that Kingdom where pain and sorrow will cease, where we will always be in his presence hearing his voice, enjoying his knowledge his beauty and his wisdom. Look at how much he gives to us? It’s more than we can ever give to him. Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms is ours in him. Oh, think about that the next time you’re thinking about your offering. Every spiritual blessing – yours in Christ. You’re not impressing Jesus with the offering; he does not need it. Let it be a token of, ‘This is how much I think he’s worth.’ King Jesus more impressive than we can imagine. His utter brilliance will take our breath away and we too will be left with nothing else to do but to break forth in everlasting praise, everlasting praise. See how much God has loved us in setting him to be our King.
Application of the Passage
Which finally brings us to some words of application. Five quick applications:
1) Application on preaching. An application on preaching. Brother, pastors, in your preaching let me ask you this question; Who are you trying to impress people with? With you or with Jesus? What do people walk away with? What impression do they carry home with them after they have heard you week after week? Are they saying what an impressive pastor we have or what an impressive Saviour we have? What an impressive King we have? Brother, process strive to impress people with Jesus and not with yourself. Give them the glory and excellence of King Jesus and not your own flimsy glory. This means you have to do the hard work of sermon preparation so that you may bring a solid Christ exalting word to your people. You do not have to bore or confuse your people with poor sermons. Prepare well, make progress, work hard so that you can lay before your people the excellencies of King Jesus as much as you possibly can.
Secondly on our Sunday services, second application Sunday services. Brother pastors, let your worship gatherings be filled with King Jesus. That’s why we gather. We do not gather to look at ourselves. It is not just the sermon that should magnify Jesus, it should be every element of your liturgy from start to finish. Brother pastors banish entertainment from your gatherings, banish it. The pulpit should not be a platform for anybody’s self-expression – pulpit is a thrown from which King Jesus shines and reigns, let that be painfully obvious in how you gather as a congregation and what you do when you gather, and where your attention is when you gather.
Thirdly, an application on our singing. Let us prioritize songs that best convey the excellencies of King Jesus. All songs are not bad but some songs are better at conveying the brilliance the glory of Jesus than others. And so, choose the kinds of songs that have the kind of content that is rich enough to aid our praise of Jesus. And so, the Jesus in your songs, how impressive is he in your songs that you sing?
Fourthly on our giving I’ve mentioned this. Dear saints, all of us, how have you been communicating the worth of Jesus with your time your energy and your money? If I looked at your time budget, your energy budget, your financial budget, would I be able to see the fact that King Jesus is valuable to you? Do you dedicate time, energy to him? “Yes, we are reformed people all of our lives belong to God, I know that.” And yet the spiritual disciplines of progress and growth require their own allotted time. And so, dear saints, order your life in such a way as to most glorify King Jesus, most communicate the fact that you are captivated by him.
Final application on suffering. Dear saints, has Satan caused you to lose sight of the excellency, the impressiveness of Christ? Has suffering and trials cast a cloud that has covered the shining sun that is King Jesus? Do not despair, his glory has not been diminished. Look again at these things, pay closer attention to these things. Pray as you read your Bible, “Show me your glory.” Remind your faith of these things. Do not believe the lie but rather fix your gaze on King Jesus again. No better words could I find to conclude than this; Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and his grace.
Let us pray;
Our Father we pray that you would give us a new sight that we might behold the brilliance, the excellency, the glory of King Jesus.
Pray O God that you would cause us to be so enthralled, and captivated, and caught up with him that we become more like him. Would you forgive us for all the ways that we have turned our gaze away from him. Forgive us for all the ways that we have magnified ourselves, magnified sin, magnified other priorities and we have not given him the praise, and glory, and honour due to him. Would you help us with these things in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.