The King is Coming

“The road, the water, the fire and the axe. Four powerful symbols set the scene for where the story of Jesus really starts. Think first of a police motorcade sweeping through a city street. First there appear motorcycles with flashing blue lights. People scurry to the side of the road as they approach. Everybody knows what’s happening: the king has been away a long time, and he’s come back at last. Two large black cars come by, filled with bodyguards and officials. Then the car with a flag at the front, containing the king himself. By this time the road is clear; no other cars are in sight; everyone is standing still and watching, waving flags and celebrating. Now take this scene back 2,000 years, and into the hot, dusty desert. The king has been away a long time, and word goes round that he’s coming back at last. But how? There isn’t even a road. Well, we’d better get one ready. So off goes the herald, shouting to the peoples of the desert: the king is coming! Make a road for him! Make it good and straight!” (Wright, Matthew for Everyone, Part 1, 16–17).