In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:1-2,14).
In the church I first attended after coming to faith in Christ, people often spoke of the Bible as a kind of instruction manual for life. Something to consult for advice. Yet, while the Bible does provide insight and wisdom, what if it was more than that? What if it was actually a love story rather than a how-to manual. Nineteenth-century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard told a parable along those lines. Take a look.
The king was like no other king. Every statesman trembled before his power. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents. And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden.
How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his very kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist – no one dared resist him. But would she love him?
She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Or would she live with him in fear, nursing a private grief for the life she had left behind. Would she be happy at his side? How could he know?
If he rode to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject. He wanted a lover, an equal. He wanted her to forget that he was a king and she a humble maiden and to let shared love cross over the gulf between them.
The king, convinced he could not elevate the maiden without crushing her freedom, resolved to descend. He clothed himself as a beggar and approached her cottage incognito, with a worn cloak fluttering loosely about him. It was no mere disguise, but a new identity he took on. He renounced the throne to win her hand.
Where have we seen this story before? (see opening Scripture)
In Jesus, this distant, untouchable, unapproachable, unattainable God – the King of kings – left His throne to come near. He took on flesh and blood and lived among us.
Why? To show us that He loved us in a way that was undeniable. It is the greatest love story of all time. And you and I are the objects of the King’s love. Unrequited Love?
Yet, as with Kierkegaard’s parable, the story is unfinished. Though the king left his throne to demonstrate his love, we aren’t told how the maiden responded.
Did she love in return or not? It’s a mystery – which Kierkegaard intended. His point wasn’t that everyone lived happily ever after. His point was that the king loved not knowing if his love would be received.
In the same way, Jesus took the risk to leave His throne and become one of us, knowing that His offer of love might be rejected. And, sadly, it was. John writes, “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” (John 1:11 ESV).
Yet for others, God’s amazing act of love wasn’t spurned. It was met with wonder and faith. His offer of love was embraced and returned. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 ESV).
The King’s love is still reaching. It’s still wooing. However, only you can decide if you will accept His offer. And only then will the love story reach its glorious conclusion.
Lord, I am amazed that you would so desire to be in a love relationship with me that you would leave Your throne to pursue me. It was a sacrifice beyond any other. Yet, apparently, you thought I was worth it. Today I say “Yes!” to your offer and bask in the fact that I am loved by the King.
copied with permission from Dave DeSelm Ministries