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The Scriptorium

Reluctant King?

Jesus will be King on His terms only.

The Gospel of John: John 6.1-21

Read and meditate on John 6.14, 15.

Great! They want Jesus to be their King! Just as the prophets foretold. But wait…

     14Then all those men, when they had seen
this sign that Jesus did, said, “This must mean
that Jesus is the Prophet who is come
into the world!” 15 But He departed from
there, when He knew that they would want to make
Him king, and would use force to try to take 
Him. So He went up on the mountain by

- John 6.14, 15

1.  What seems to have been the motivation for these men wanting to make Jesus king? They were looking to Scripture, so where did they go wrong? Complete this prayer: Lord, just because I see something in the Bible, doesn’t mean I can…

2.  Note that these men were planning to take Jesus by “force.” Goodness! What would that have looked like? Does Jesus come into His Kingdom by force? Meditate on Luke 16.16. Do we come into the Kingdom by force? What kind of force? Lord, I want to press further into Your Kingdom today, so help me to…

3.  In following Jesus, it’s never right to do the right thing in the wrong way. Apply this principle to this attempt to make Jesus king. I want to do what’s right and good in Your eyes, Lord, especially where…

4.  Was it that Jesus didn’t want to be King? Explain. You are King, Lord Jesus! And I am…

5.  Again, Jesus retreats to the mountain, this time by Himself. Why do you suppose Jesus thought this was a good idea? Are there times in your life when a little solitude and a change of scenery might be a good thing?  Explain. Bring together into one your prayers from questions 1-4.

“Wonderful! How great is the tyranny of gluttony, how great the fickleness of people’s minds! No longer do they vindicate the law, no longer do they care for the violation of the sabbath, and no longer are they zealous for God. All such considerations are thrown aside when their bellies have been filled. He was a prophet in their eyes, and they were about to choose him for a king. But Christ flees. Why? To teach us to despise worldly dignities and to show us that he needed nothing on earth.” John Chrysostom (344-407AD)

Jesus will only be King on His terms, not ours. How should this counsel us as we think about serving our King in His Kingdom?

Closing Prayer
The fool hath said in his heart,
There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works,
there is none that doeth good.
The LORDlooked down from heaven upon the children of men,
to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy:
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge?
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and call not upon the LORD.
There were they in great fear:
for God is in the generation of the righteous.

Psalm 14.1-5

Psalm 14.4, 5 (St. Anne: O God, Our Help in Ages Past)
None understands, none seeks the Lord; they all have turned aside.
Deception leads them from God’s Word who have His grace denied.

The workers of iniquity consume God’s sheep like bread;
They trust not in the Lord, and He shall fill their hearts with dread.
T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better overall understanding of the focus, themes, narrative, flow, and application of God’s Word. Study at your own pace in this free, online course. For more information or to register, click here.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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