Clergy View: A kind king

God did send a King to care for us, but this King operated differently than you might first imagine.

Two bibles stacked to represent Clergy View
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We’re not so different from the nation of Israel as Jeremiah speaks with a heavy heart to a hurting people. People are flawed and sinful, maybe even more obvious is the failure of leaders in our life. Through the prophet’s lips, God speaks a harsh word to the shepherd kings who leveraged their position and power for gain. They had destroyed and scattered rather than loved and cared.

Matt Nagel
Pastor Matt Nagel

Perhaps you can relate. Either you’ve failed in your own care for others or those you trusted to lead, guide and protect failed you. That’s not an easy sentence to write, or one to read. Many of us bear the scars of terrible personal decisions that have affected others deeply. We likely also harbor painful memories and experiences from the hands of others. Here’s how the historical and empirical reality of Jesus’ birth plays a part in this conversation.

God being one who sees and acts, tells us in Jeremiah 23 that He is one who initiates. He doesn’t wait for us to fix ourselves. He doesn’t wait until we are moral and then He’ll throw us a life line. He doesn’t allow failure in our hearts and in leaders around us to go unchecked. God promises these people of old a ‘Righteous Branch’ to come. It’s the preemptive promise to a question we’ve all been wondering, “Will a true King ever come and shepherd my soul in a loving and trustworthy way?” God did send a King to care for us, but this King operated differently than you might first imagine.


A king was born. He, the God man, lived a perfect sinless life. Fully and truly loving His Father and His neighbor. Jesus succeeded where we have all failed. He took that perfect life, and instead of cashing it in as a King and leveraging things for his own benefit, he did the unthinkable. The King died for His people, in their place. He died for the hypocrite. He died for the greedy. He died for the sexually perverse. He died for the secret sins we hide in our minds.

After his death, he rose from the grave three days later. He conquered sin and death, rising to new life, raised to Heaven, seated on a throne over the hearts of His people as the true King. Any who trust in him, who cling to His promises, who believe He is the good and wise King who substituted himself for his people, they receive the promises of Jeremiah 23. Those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus are given forgiveness, eternal life, a new heart and security. They are gathered in and become children of God: men, women, and children who are new and different. They become Faithful Followers of Christ. They experience this already, now, in the life God has given them. And they experience it not yet, in the eternal fullness of Heaven one day.

Unlike the shepherds who fail, who destroy and scatter. This King, Jesus, is the Good Shepherd who lays his life down for the sheep.

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