Posts in the Sermon Prep: Seize Him series
I’m preaching this Sunday, and working my way through John 6. Doug spoke about the feeding of the 5 thousand last week, so I’m picking up the story at the Walking on Water section.
As a keep reading through this, the last verse of the feed 5,000 section sticks in my head:
Then Jesus, because he knew they were going to come and seize him by force to make him king, withdrew again up the mountainside alone. John 6:15
They wanted to seize him and make him king. I never made the connection before, but what Jesus later stands in front of Pilate, he says:
Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities.” John 18:36
I always assumed he was talking about the 12 disciples, but I think he’s speaking with a little more menace than that – he saying, “There was a time when 15,000 people were ready to take up arms and march on the city, declaring me king. Don’t you think if I wanted your throne I would have taken it then?”
I’m interested in any thoughts you might have about this passage. The message is very un-formed right now, so I’m looking for brainstorms. I think I’m going to spend some time on the “seize him” idea. It seems to speak directly to the tendencies of people who want to make Jesus their mascot, to seize him and make him the spokesperson for their movement, or to appear like they have his political endorsement. Jesus doesn’t seem to tolerate that kind of “seizing”; instead, he withdraws, and then does some majestic, earth-bending thing that demonstrates to those watching that his purposes here are unable to be contained by the petty banners of parochial movements.
Next in series: Inappropriate Zeal