Two Kings in Contrast
Today we meet two kings: Solomon and Jesus. Though kings they could not be more different in their lives and in their deaths.
Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. 2 Chronicles 9:22
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. John 13:12-14
Solomon was endowed by God with great wisdom. With that came the honor of being consulted by all the other kings and queens of the earth, and of gathering wealth beyond comparison. Although the writer of Chronicles does not focus on it, Solomon was a victim of his own earthly success, being tripped up by the paganism of his many wives and concubines (I Kings 11:1-40). We read that he died and was buried quietly with his forefathers. Humanly speaking, his reign was successful and peaceful.
Jesus had just been received in Jerusalem and acclaimed king of Israel (John 12:12-15). But where do we find Jesus on the night of the Passover? Washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with a towel. He had no recognized earthly power or position. He was not wealthy. Jesus was hunted by the elite, not sought by them for advice. He was merely Teacher and Lord for twelve disciples. Did He die quietly after a long reign? No. He died in agony on a cross. Unlike Solomon, He would not be buried with his fathers but in a borrowed tomb. Yet, most importantly, neither would Christ Jesus rot in a grave, but rise triumphantly to life as the Conqueror of death and the Savior of His people.
Think about it
Truly Solomon’s reign is antithetical to Jesus’ life and ministry at His first coming, and only a pale reflection of the glory of the Kingdom of God which Jesus proclaimed and which is still to come completely. Jesus is the King of Israel, the chosen people of God from all the earth who are blessed to be His. Pray that His kingdom may come in fullness soon. Meanwhile, let us follow our Teacher and Lord in humble obedience and loving service.