"Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself." (St. John 6:15)
Does it seem odd that Jesus withdraws from the people simply because they want to make Him king? We talk about Jesus as Prophet, Priest, and King, and right here in John's Gospel, the people come very quickly to the conclusion that Jesus is a prophet, they want to make Him king, and once that is accomplished priest is probably not far behind.
So, why the withdrawal? Well, first off, Jesus is King, but His Kingdom is not of this world. A worldly kingdom is the kind of kingdom that the people were trying to get Jesus to make for them.
They wanted a worldly king that was going to see to their worldly needs. They wanted Jesus, but they wanted Him on their own terms. They were ready to make Him king, but only if He was going to be the kind of king that they wanted Him to be. For these people, The Lord's Prayer would say, "Thy kingdom come and here is what we want it to look like."
Your life as a Christian is not defined by what you make of Jesus. You can't make Jesus do or be anything. He is who He is. Nothing you do can change that. You are the created, not the Creator. You cannot make Jesus a king. What defines your life as a Christian is what Jesus has made out of you.
Instead He has made you a member of His kingdom. He died on the Cross for you. He called you by name and washed you clean in the waters of Baptism. He comes to you in Holy Communion with His own Body and Blood, given and shed for you. He gives you the power to pray, "Thy kingdom come," in such a way that the Jesus you want is the same as the Jesus you need.
"I love thy kingdom Lord, The house of Thine abode, The Church our blest Redeemer saved With his own precious blood." (TLH #462)
Daily Lectionary: Job 13:1-12; St. John 6:1-21
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.