Last time we spent our time together digging deep into the meanings behind what was being said and true to form I’d like to take you back there, but first we are going to look at things from a more historical perspective. To begin with, you have to understand that the Israelites did not have a unified belief just as Christians. Even though we all believe that God is God and almost all believe that Christ is God that does not mean that Baptist, Catholics and Pentecostals all believe the same thing. For example, the Pharisees held to an Oral Law that they used to further explain the Torah, where as the Sadducees believed that you only needed the Torah and they put great stock in the temple all the while the Essenes rejected the temple and instead moved to wilderness. Scholars say that for the most part Israel was looking for not one, but two Messiahs. For Christians today this may seem odd because the Messiah is God right? No. Messiah simply means anointed one. David was a messiah, as he was anointed, as should be every priest. Exodus 28:41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
Who then were these two messiahs that Israel was looking for? First they were looking for a priest like unto Ezra and second a king like unto Nehemiah (who, though it cannot be confirmed, was believed to be of the tribe of Judah). I could post a lot of scripture, but I’ll just give you these to compare on your own, Deuteronomy 18:18 (priest) and Isaiah 7:14 (king from the house of David).
Jesus was not the messiah Israel was looking for. They wanted a king to rise up and free them from the Romans and retake the land that God had given them.
John 6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
These are the five thousand that Jesus just fed and they are excited. Their bellies are full and they are ready to take back the promised land.
John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
You could say that these people are not looking for two messiahs. They see the prophet and the king as one man, but remember David was a prophet and certainly no priest.
Putting all of that aside, why didn’t Jesus let them make him king? He is the king after all, isn’t he? I am sure most of you reading this know that Christ’s kingdom was not of this flesh world, but even knowing that isn’t this what God is after? Doesn’t He want the people to accept him as king? Yes, but you noticed they were going to FORCE Him? Next time you try and force God to do anything let me know how that works out for you.
There is also another point that the Gospel is trying to point us to. Do you remember the first time Israel forced someone to be king? Do you remember Saul? Whose name means desired. Saul was the man king Israel wanted and Christ is showing us that he is the exact opposite of Saul. You can, and I encourage you to, read how Saul became king beginning in I Samuel 9. Here we are just going to pull up the first few verses: 1 Samuel 9:2-3 And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people. (3) And the asses of Kish Saul’s father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses.
Saul seemed like a good guy and he was taller than everyone else. Wouldn’t be make for a nice king? But compare him to David. David was a shepherd and defended his flock against lions and bears. Saul, on the other hand, lost his asses and had to go on a mission to find them. Saul was the flesh king that Israel wanted, even after God warned them that a king would take their sons to be warriors and their daughters to be dancers and cooks. Even after God said they would take their fields, they wanted a king. Christ was not going to be that kind of king. Not then and not now.