And then finally, you see the devil tempting Him to a shortcut to a great kingdom. He said to Him, "If you'll just fall down and worship me, I'll give you all the kingdoms of the world and their glory." I've noticed the plural there. All the kingdoms of the world and their glory. I supposed that's a contrast to that little kingdom of Judah. It's almost as if the devil would say, "Why are you going to waste your time on this little people, this far- off corner of the world? It's ridiculous. Who even cares who is the king of Judah? But if you'll fall down and worship me, I'll give you something that's worth being king of. I'll give you the glory of Greece and the grandeur of Rome. I'll give you the power of Europe in the Middle Ages. I'll give you England. I'll give you the United States. All of that can be yours if you'll just fall down and worship me."

There is also a third reason. He came to show the nature of His kingdom. That's why He came in the way He did. I think here of the great contrast between what Jesus actually did and what at an earlier point in Matthew's gospel the devil suggested He do. In the temptation of our Lord recorded in Matthew 4, the devil came to Him in the wilderness and suggested that the way He was going about things was inappropriate for one who wanted to be the king of the Jewish nation and of the world besides. He said, in effect, "You're hungry, here are these stones. You need to get into the miracle business and begin to do spectacular things by changing these stones into bread."

And yet as much as Matthew presents Jesus as a prophet and priest, I suppose that of all three functions it is the function of the Lord Jesus Christ as king that is most emphasized by Matthew. You can go back to the very beginning of the first chapter of the book to find this idea. There, you have a record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David. David was the great king of Israel, and so when Matthew begins his gospel by saying this is a record of Jesus Christ, the son of David, he's making it clear that Jesus Christ stands in the royal lineage as the king of this nation, and in fact of the world besides. You find it emphasized in other ways, including in the second chapter, which contains the story of the Magi coming to Jerusalem to inquire of Herod where the king of the Jews was born.

In thinking about how to summarize the person and work of Christ, the Protestant reformers used a very handy and concise tool for doing just that. It was comprehensive because the reformers were thoughtful men and they went back into both the Old Testament and the New Testament to do it. And it was biblical because it was expressed in the Bible's own language.

One of the difficult things that I have had to do in working with various organizations is to try to summarize the purpose of the organization in order to focus your energies and sometimes communicate to other people what you're trying to do. Sometimes when this kind of thing is attempted, one comes up with a comprehensive statement, which is good, but which can also be a bit long. At least in some cases, it is helpful to be able to shorten the purpose statement to make it more effective in terms of recognizing and remembering it.