On a hot afternoon on 22 July 2013, Prince George entered our world in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, in London.
He immediately became third in line to the throne of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as the Commonwealth. His destiny is to reign.
Westminster Abbey bells pealed. There was a 41 gun salute and he was headline news the world over. Photos of this 8lb 6oz baby were on the front pages of thousands of different magazines and newspapers.
Baby George’s birth could not have been more different to the birth of Jesus, the King of kings. Both come from a royal line. Imagine having among your ancestors Henry VIII or Queen Victoria or the previous King Georges! But in Jesus’ ancestry were the mighty King David and King Solomon, as well as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
William and Kate are a married couple. Jesus’ mother, Mary, was not yet married to Joseph. She was a virgin. But God himself, the creator of the world, was coming into the world. Jesus was born of God and of humanity, for he was fully God and fully human.
The prince’s parents, with advice and approval from the Queen, chose his name, whereas Joseph was told by an angel of the Lord: ‘You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins’. Jesus’ destiny was also to reign, but as Lord and Saviour.
There was no private hospital for Jesus. Compelled by a census called by Caesar Augustus, Mary and Joseph went to their place of origin. But there was no room for them in the inn in Bethlehem. As the Bible says, ‘Mary brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger’.
News of the royal baby’s birth was posted outside Buckingham Palace then spread rapidly around the world. Television programmes reviewed royal history and discussed Prince George’s destiny. For once, the media was telling the world some good news.
At the birth of Jesus, a multitude of angels praised God, saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men’. It was ordinary shepherds who were first told of the birth. It is a cheering truth that God always cares for ordinary people and he wants us to come to know him through his Son, Jesus.
Whatever the celebrations, there was no way that a special star would be over St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington! But for Jesus, a star led wise men from the east to the place where Jesus was born.
Who knows how Prince George’s life will develop. He will have the best education and upbringing, with wonderful opportunities and responsibilities. However, he will not be able to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, feed the hungry, calm the storm at sea, raise the dead or turn water into wine, as did Jesus.
Amazingly, everything about Jesus was described in detail by Bible prophets long before he was born. The life of Jesus, including where he would be born, how he would live, the death he would die and his resurrection, and his eventual return as judge, were all written by the prophets centuries before he came.
Laid in a cradle, Jesus was destined to die on a cross. His suffering was horrific. But he paid the penalty for our sins. Jesus was born to do that.
We have all broken God’s commandments and our sin is deadly. Jesus came to die, taking on himself the sin of the world. He did it because, despite everything, God loves us. Jesus then did what no ordinary monarch could ever do — he rose from the dead.
We don’t know for sure how long it will be before, or even if, Prince George will eventually become king. It may be a long wait!
One of the great teachings of the Bible is that one day Jesus will return. Nobody knows the day or hour when this will happen, but he will come not as a baby but as the King of kings.
Every knee will bow before King Jesus. He will be acknowledged by all as the King of kings and Lord of lords. People of every faith, and those who turn their back on God, will acknowledge the lordship of Jesus.
Shortly after Jesus’ birth, King Herod — the king of the day — jealously ordered that the babies in Bethlehem should be killed. And still, for 2000 years, people have resisted Jesus.
What we think of baby George Alexander Louis probably has little significance. What we think of Jesus Christ has eternal consequences. Before anyone can come to know God and be certain of heaven rather than hell, individual wrong needs to be forgiven. Only Jesus can do that.
Throughout centuries people have said, ‘God save the king’. More importantly you need to ask the King to save you — that is, to forgive you and become your Lord and Saviour.
Will you now call out to God, thanking him for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? Will you ask him to become your Lord and Saviour?
Jesus is not just a figure of history, like so many of the kings and queens we read about, but he is the way to God the Father. We can know him and find in him a constant companion and loving Saviour.