With the way this year has gone for authoritative national rulers it seems appropriate that Kim Jong Il died before the end of 2011. Regardless of the degree of aggrandizement these rulers achieved, they were still subject to the laws of truth, justice, sin and death. Like Qaddafi and other tyrants, Kim Jong Il appeared great in his own eyes. These “leaders” managed to subdue and oppress their people for a while, but they did not lead. Their influence was caustic and their legacies are tragic.

Jesus instructs us to judge a tree by its fruit. (Luke 6:43f) When we apply this wisdom, the dramatic differences between Jesus and the likes of Kim Jong Il are so obvious and striking that it is cliché-ish. Nevertheless, as we celebrate Jesus’ incarnation and life as a human during this Christmas season, it is worthwhile to pause and be refreshed by the different way Jesus taught and lived.

Thank God for Jesus!