The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus… he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31,33).
Over her long history, many kings had ruled over Israel, here called the “house of Jacob.” After Jacob wrestled all night with God (Genesis 32), he received a new name: Israel. Some of those kings had been faithful and devout. Others were horrible and brought destruction on the nation. Mary’s son, however, would be the last king they would ever need or have. “Of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Monarchies, empires and dynasties come and go in the pages of world history. Companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Walmart and Microsoft reign in the marketplace. But they all have beginnings and all will one day come to an end. Broadway shows that play for years and years all have a final performance. Brilliant careers all end in retirement. A kingdom with no end is definitely otherworldly.
And our Lord’s reign also had no beginning. He was on the throne before creation just as he will be there when heaven and earth pass away. Yet he steps into this world with both a birth and a death, events that look like a beginning and an end. His beginning and end, though, testify to his eternal nature. He is not passive in that beginning and end. He actively becomes flesh, willingly allows his death, and then powerfully comes back to life. Those events that limit our lives do not restrict him.
The bible is serious when it says that his steadfast love endures forever. It reaches back into our past, covering all our sins. It extends into a future that has no end. It defines who were are today, too. The eternal king has given us the gift of eternal life.
Lord, let your love, grace and peace rule my life today and every day. Amen.