Christmas at the Movies: Elf, and No Ordinary Baby

elfposter1[Guest Post Carter Whyte Pastoral Intern]

Last Sunday we learned something crucial about Jesus from Matthew 2:1-12, and in viewing the movie Elf. Buddy the elf was no ordinary guy – he didn’t look like one, act like one, or burp like one. He was truly something special – different than the average church-go-er, for sure! And as we learned on Sunday: In a similar way, Jesus is not just a good man, a great example, or a spiritual friend; He is more than we often treat him to be. Jesus is the eternal and universal King. In Matthew 2:1-12 we see that King Herod and the wise men all treat Jesus like a King: Herod sees him as a threat and tries to kills him; whereas the wise men travelled a far distance in search for Jesus, so that even as a baby they might worship him. A King deserves a king-sized response – a response worthy of a king.

When we forget that Jesus is King, it is hard – if not impossible – to live the Christian life that is modeled for us in the New Testament. The men and women that we read about there speak and live in great confidence and humility: walking into unknown places and threatening situations to share the good news of Jesus, displaying his power, and seeking God’s glory in it all. They lived with great faith and hope because they knew that Jesus was King over all – fully able, fully sovereign, and fully active.

We might not often think of Jesus as being King, but we do often refer to him as “Lord”. We might call him “Lord, Jesus…” in our prayers, or quote verses like Romans 10:9, which says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Though we use the title “Lord” to refer to Jesus, perhaps we forget what that means! And essentially, it means he is King – He owns the place and he makes the rules.

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” All authority. That’s a lot of authority… in fact, there is nothing left to be distributed between Satan, earthly kings, or us. Jesus has it all.

And this can be the most amazing news we could hear! Jesus has the power to judge, and to forgive. He has the power to create and to destroy; to teach and to correct; to strengthen and to weaken; and he will not be overthrown. We can walk with Jesus into darkness, difficulty and death, and none of these things can separate us from him because he is still and always our King – through death, and eternal life.

In our daily walk, do we have a vision of Jesus that is too small? Or is it king-sized?

Do we tell our neighbours about Jesus the good example? Or boast about knowing and being loved by Jesus the King?

Let’s allow our lives to be impacted by this biblical truth. I think it will dramatically change the way we live our lives and share Jesus with others.

Teaching Points:

  • Why was Herod so afraid of Jesus?
  • Why did the wise men sacrifice so much for Jesus?
    • A: Because Jesus is King!
  • Being King means: He owns the place and he makes the rules
  • Jesus is more than a good man or a great example
  • “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
  • A King deserves a king-sized response
  • Jesus deserves our eager obedience, our complete allegiance, and our costly worship.
  • We can have an incredible life as we serve and trust him because JESUS IS KING.

Adult Discussion Questions:

What are your initial feelings when you hear that Jesus is King today? Do you have any difficulty believing that? How have you experienced his power and Kingship in your life? How do you think you ought to respond to the King with how you live? How do you anticipate this idea – that Jesus is King – affecting your daily journey with him – or the way you share the gospel with others?

Family Discussion Questions:

Share with each other the difficulties and problems that you are facing currently. Remind each other that Jesus is the King – no matter what goes on in our lives. Ask: What hope can we have in our King no matter what the circumstance?

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