The Case of the Missing King: A Christmas Mystery

December 23, 2016

  

Part 1

 

Well, hello there! My name is Finnian Jones. Welcome to Finnian’s Antiques, Books, Coffees, etc. Especially etcetera.

 

Have a seat here by the fireplace, would you? Here’s some oolong tea for you. When what you long for takes too long, take some “T”. Tea for “time out,” to reflect on God, and his goodness to you. For when you’re with God, it may be oolong, but it’s never too long.

 

All right then. Time for a story. It’s actually a mystery. Technically, it’s a misery. But that’s another story. This is The Case of the Missing King, a Christmas mystery!

 

Twice upon a time, and many times ago, lived an evil king. I won’t tell you his name just yet, because… he’s missing!

 

We need to find out what happened to him. Here’s our first clue. Look in Matthew 1. Even though Jesus came from Heaven, He also had an earthly family. And right here, you can see His ancestors, all the way back to His great-great-great-great…well, you get the idea (and it’s a great idea).

 

In Matthew 1, you’ll find three sets of 14 generations—well, almost. You see, there’s a name that’s mentioned, but something unusual happened. Count the names in each set. Two sets have 14 names. But—what is this?--one of the sets only has 13 names! Once you find this set, you’re on the trail of the mysterious missing king in the family tree of Jesus.

 

Come back again.  I’ll have another clue for you next week.

 

Let the search begin, in The Case of the Missing King!

 

A missing name

A guessing game

For one man’s shame

Redemption came

 

 

Part 2

 

Ah! Welcome back, my good friend! So, last week, I shared with you a clue to lead you to the mysterious missing king in the family tree of Jesus. Our first mission: find his name.

 

Last week, I showed you something unusual in the family tree of Jesus. There are three sets of 14 names. But wait—look at the last set of names. Only 13!  We’re getting closer now!

 

I have one more clue for you. You’ll discover this clue in the words of an ancient prophet named Jeremiah.  Take a look at Jeremiah 22:24-30.

 

And keep in mind, some names in the Bible are slightly different, just like they are today. For example, James and Jim are the same person. So are Robert and Bob. However, when you look at the meaning behind the Hebrew names, well, that’s a whole treasure hunt in itself!

 

So, your mission: Find the name of the missing king. The Name of the Game is the Game of the Name. Can you do it? I’m absolutely, resolutely, acutely, and astutely certain you can!

 

See you next week, my friend!

 

A clue for you,

in 22

A clue to chew,

Your mind to stew

And something new,

in 52

I know that you

Will find the clue

The one we knew

To lead us through

And find out who

But now…adieu!

 

 


Part 3

 

Hello there, my friend! Welcome back to my shop. Well now, if you carefully followed the clue I gave you from Jeremiah 22, you have most likely discovered the name of our missing king, yes?

 

Yes! The missing king is (drum roll, please—and a cinnamon roll while you’re at it!)…

Jechoniah!

 

As we’re unraveling this mystery, keep in mind Jechoniah is also called “Coniah” and “Jehoiachin.” This king goes by three different names. But it’s all the same king.

 

So, one mystery is solved, but another mystery awaits us! We’ve got our whodunnit, but we’re missing our whydunnit and our howdunnit.

 

You’re about to discover a surprising twist in this tale! Stay tuned for The Curse of the King. Next week!

 

A missing king

Is a curious thing

We have his name

But who is to blame?

 

Why was he cursed

from the first to the worst?

What did he do?

Is this about you?

 

 

 

Part 4

 

Well now, if it isn’t my good friend back again! It’s good to see you! Come, sit down and let’s unravel this Christmas mystery together, shall we?

 

Let’s put together our clues thus far.

 

1. We found our missing king was Jechoniah. (And remember, he’s also known as Coniah and Jehoiachin.)

 

2. Look at Jeremiah 22:24-30. Now herewith is the real mystery of King Jechoniah. We find that God was so upset with his people disobeying him, that he cursed King Jechoniah to be childless.

 

Well now, this is quite curious, isn’t it? How in the world did King Jechoniah end up having children, since he’s certainly mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1? How could a man cursed to be childless end up as part of the family tree of Jesus?

 

Ah! That’s the best part our story! And I’m saving the best for last. Come back next week for the conclusion of our mystery and The Miracle of the Missing King.

 

From a curse to a miracle

This story will unfold

From a prison to a palace

A mercy to behold

 

 

Part 5

 

Very good to see you again! I’ve enjoyed our visits and unraveling this Christmas mystery together.

 

If you recall, when I first introduced our story, I said “Twice upon a time.” There’s good reason for that. It’s the miracle of this whole story.

 

Take a look at Jeremiah 52:31-34 and you’ll see it! Because of the evil of Israel, King Jechoniah was taken captive along with his people and sent off to the foreign nation of Babylon. (He was named “Jehoiachin” in this chapter.)

 

But here we learn, after 37 years in captivity, the king of Babylon brought King Jechoniah (Jehoichin) out of prison, and set him free! But there’s more! The king of Babylon spoke kindly to King Jechoniah.  He gave him a seat above the seats of the other kings who were with him. Jechoniah put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table. In addition to all this, he was given a regular allowance until the day of his death, as long as he lived.

 

The Scriptures are so full of rare and beautiful treasures! Take a look…

 

Every day of his life

Until the day of his death

As long as he lived

 

Do you see it?! This is a Hebrew poetic device that shows us Jechoniah was given a second life! Life, death, life! God used his second life to cancel the curse for his evil first life! But why?

 

I’m glad you asked! Because this is the final piece of the mystery. In Matthew 1, Jechoniah is mentioned twice, before Babylon and after Babylon. Before Babylon, he is a considered a dead man in God’s eyes. He was cursed, never to have children.

 

But after Babylon, he’s given a new life. And he has a son! His name is Shealtiel. And this very name unlocks the final mystery. In fact, the name Shealtiel solves the mystery of how Jechoniah was freed from prison and given a son. Because Shealtiel means, “I asked God!”

 

You see, no matter how hard your life becomes, God is working behind the scenes, and in the scenes to deliver you. Just ask him!

 

The miracle for Jechoniah is the miracle for all of us. It’s the miracle of the King of Kings. Jesus came to earth to save us and take away our sin. It’s the miracle of Christmas. Christ has come… for you!

 

He’s here to deliver you from whatever prison you’re in, to remove your prison garments, to give you a place at his table.

 

Just ask him!

 

One king became lost

His crown was cast down

One king’s great cost

His nation was bound

 

One King for the lost

Raised crown on a tree

One King’s great cost

For nations set free 

 

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