"Setting Protocol Aside"
December 31, 2014
Then Pilate said to Him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world -- to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice." John 18:37
LeBron James is a pretty good basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Her Royal Highness, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is the future King of England's Queen Consort.
Recently, when James and Kate and William came together after a Cavaliers-Nets basketball game in New York, the press was given a first-class photo opportunity. All three were having a grand time. That was until James did a completely American thing: he put his arm around Kate.
While most folks on this side of the Atlantic said, "Gee, that makes for a fine picture," lovers of the British monarchy cried, "Foul!" James' gesture had broken protocol, which says, "Simple folk like you and I don't touch royalty... or speak to them ... unless royalty touches or speaks to us first." I suppose it really doesn't look good, nor does it preserve the dignity of the office, for an average-Joe like me to go up to Queen Elizabeth, slap her on the back and say, "Hi ya, Queenie! What's happenin' in the empire?"
All of this makes the relationship between humanity and the Triune God incredibly unique.
Let's see, on the one hand, we have the Lord who is the Creator of the universe. All that exists is there because of His thought and command. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-just, all-present, and all-perfect.
On the other hand, there is humanity. Our bodies are fragile, and our thought processes are flawed. We are unpredictable, foolish, false, hypocritical and sinful.
But there's more. The Lord who has every reason to walk away from His fallen creation -- who has been insulted and had His authority questioned by His disobedient children -- still loves us. In contrast, those children relish questioning, condemning and denying their Maker.
Talk about a violation of protocol! This leads me to ask how does the Lord react to our misbehavior? No logical person would ever guess correctly.
First, the Lord feels sorry for us and has decided to send His Son to become one of us. True Man and True God, Jesus did all we could not do. In perfect obedience He lived His life for us and then, carrying our sins, He died for us. In resurrection victory, He calls us to repentance, forgiveness and faith.
It makes no rational, human sense, but the all-loving Lord sets proper protocol aside and says, "Come to Me. Call upon Me. Trust in Me. Believe on Me" (see Proverbs 3:5; Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 56:3-4; Isaiah 26:3-4). Then, for those who are brought to faith and do as God invites, He offers forgiveness, adopts them into His family, and invites them into His heavenly home.
This might explain why He is worthy of the titles, "King of kings" and "Lord of lords" (see Revelation 19:6).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive my many sins and acts of disobedience. May I, Your humble servant, acknowledge Your greatness and the undeserved love You have shown to the fallen human race. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries