(Jesus said) "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:25b-28
A number of years ago, the International Lutheran Laymen's League had its convention in Rochester, Minnesota.
Surprisingly, when Pam and I went to check into our room, a room which had been reserved for over a year, we were told we -- along with others in the organization -- were being transferred to another location. It seems King Hussein of Jordan had flown in to receive treatment for his cancer. He and his entourage had taken over three floors of the hotel where we were supposed to stay.
After all of us were settled in at our new location, I wrote a get-well letter to the monarch. In it I shared our hopes for his recovery and a message about the Savior, Jesus Christ. Surprisingly, I received a letter from the king's secretary who most cordially thanked the members of the organization for their prayers.
After that I did a little research on the king.
I found out how, when he had just begun his reign, Hussein decided to find out more about his people. To do this he put on street clothes, snuck out of the palace, and commandeered a taxi. For hours he would pick up fares and drive them wherever they asked. As he drove, the king asked his fares about their dreams, their hopes, and their expectations for the new king.
That story, along with many others, showed King Hussein to be a most impressive man.
Of course, he is not in the league with our Savior. Unlike Hussein, who left his palace for a few hours, our Lord did His Father's will and left behind His kingly robes of heaven and came down to earth as our Suffering Servant.
From the beginning of His life in Bethlehem, through His passion and time on Jerusalem's cross, the Lord Jesus remained completely committed to offering Himself as the sacrifice that would save us from sin, Satan and death.
Jesus' commitment is most unique.
Unlike the king who could ask for and receive three floors of a hotel, Jesus had no place to call home, no place to lay His head. He had no servants ready to do His bidding; He had no entourage ready to be of assistance to Him in His work. Even so, Jesus completed all which had been asked of Him. Now, by the Holy Spirit's power, all who believe on Him as Savior are redeemed and rescued, recycled and restored.
When King Hussein died in February of 1999, he was mourned by his nation and eulogized by the world. It was right that such a remarkable peacemaker would receive such adulation.
Of course, such an outpouring for an earthly monarch leads us to ask, "How shall we give thanks to the Prince of Peace who was willing to die so we might live?" Luther provides the answer when he writes, "For all of which it is our duty to thank and praise, to serve and obey Him."
This is most certainly true.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world has been blessed with men and women who will dedicate themselves to the welfare of their people. I give thanks for them, but I stand in awe and admiration of the Savior who gave His life so we might have life. May I always give thanks for the blood-bought grace He has given me. In Jesus' Name I give thanks. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries