TWO DIFERENT KINDS OF KINGS:
TRUE STORY: A boy named Alexander became king in 333 BC. He had started out the prince of a Podunk little province in northern Greece. As his father was dying, Phillip of Macedonia told his son, “Macedonia is too small for you. I fear the world is too small for you.” And so, just ten years later, Alexander the Great was the king over most of the known world. To this day his mark has been left on the world. In Egypt, Alexandria is named after him. In Pakistan, the town of Bucephalous is named after his horse. Even as far west as Afghanistan – the town of Khandar, the name comes from “Ale-xandhar.” He made quite a space for himself. Kingdoms are as much about will as they are about territory. As great as his army was, Alexander probably marched through less than 5% of his territory. He only fought battles in a few towns. What he did was simple. He’d march into a province and give the rulers a choice. One: They could join him, give him troops and tribute, and in return they would be under his protection. Two: You could resist him, and Alexander’s armies would kill you in the end. It was a pretty simple choice, right? Alexander wasn’t the world’s greatest soldier – He was the world’s greatest diplomat and salesman. He fought, as much by will as he did by weapon. It was said that right before he died in 323 BC, “He wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.” In other words, he was sad, because there was nobody left on whom to impose his will. Alexander died when he was only 33 years old.
Now let’s contrast. In the Bible, Jesus was only about 33 when he wept for Jerusalem. And why did He weep? Was it because He knew they were going to reject and crucify Him? No, He wept because they were “like sheep without a Shepherd.” He knew that if only they would do His will, people could live together without fighting. People would be fed, and there would be enough. If only they could see and hear and taste how beautiful the will of his Father could be. So, Jesus went to the cross and suffered and died a cruel ignominious death. He died, so that everyone else could live in freedom from life’s greatest enemy, sin. He never once lifted a sword or imposed Himself on anyone. He lived a perfect sinless life. By doing so He won the hearts of many. His immediate followers went out and turned the world upside down with the message of His love. To this day, the Kingdom of Jesus reigns in the hearts of men, women, and children all over the world. Isaiah prophesied, and it is true, “Of the increase of His kingdom, there shall be no end. (Isa. 9:6)
- An anonymous poem about Jesus and Alexander –
Jesus and Alexander died at thirty-three, one lived and died for self, one died for you and me. The Greek died on the throne, the Jew died on the cross, one’s life triumphed seemed, the other a loss. One led armies forth, the other walked alone, one shed a whole world’s blood, the other gave His own. One won the world in life and lost it all in death, the other lost His life to win the whole world’s faith.
Jesus and Alexander died at thirty-three, one died in Babylon, and one on Calvary. One gained all for self, and one Himself He gave, one conquered every throne, the other every grave. The one made himself god, the God made Himself less, the one lived but to blast, the other but to bless! When died the Greek, forever fell his throne of swords, but Jesus died to live forever Lord of Lords.
Jesus and Alexander died at thirty-three, the Greek made all men slaves, the Jew made all men free. One built a throne of blood, the other built on love, the one was born of earth, the other from above. One won all this earth, to lose all earth and heaven. The other gave up all, that to all Him be given. The Greek forever died, the Jew forever lives, he loses all who get, and gains all things who gives.