Finding Crowns

Last week my six year old came dancing into the kitchen wearing a fancy dress and asking me for a crown. “Do I have a crown?” I asked her. “Yes!” she exclaimed, and proceeded to explain to me what I should be finding for her. Sure enough, said crown was nestled in a a bag with a fancy head band, remnants of the days I used to buy all my little princesses crowns at Claire’s in the mall. My older daughter must have brought hers home for the little sisters to wear.

Sunday’s sermon on 1 Peter, chapter 5 mentioned a crown, and our pastor informed the congregation that there are several crowns mentioned in the New Testament. He challenged us to do the research to discover what they are.

If you’ve never done a word study, it is easy to do, and it is a rewarding way to learn more about a specific subject. By going to, I typed “crown” into the search bar in King James Version, and it pulled up every verse that is applicable. Just scroll through the list to find what you are looking for. Reading the surrounding verses to discover the context and meaning are up to you.

The word crown is “stephanos” in the Greek language. It may be a mark of royal rank, the righteous crown of reward that is given to the genuine servants of God, or that which is an ornament and honor (Blueletter Bible).

So, about those crowns…

Crown of Shame

Matthew 27:9, Mark 15:17, and John 19:2 are the synoptic gospel accounts of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore during his trial and crucifixion. It was a crown of shame, placed on his head by the Roman soldiers who mocked him, spat on him, beat him, and crucified him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” A title that chagrined the Jewish leaders who wanted Jesus dead. Thorns were part of the curse brought upon the earth when Adam and Eve sinned, and it was because of our sin that Jesus was crucified, bearing our consequences for us.

Perishable & Imperishable Crowns

Like so many of Paul’s letters, 1 Corinthians 9 compares living in light of eternity as running a race for which the winner will receive a crown. Those who live for the rewards this life run for a crown which will perish, but we who live for Christ will receive an eternal, imperishable reward.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (vs. 24, 25, ESV).

Crown of Rejoicing (Soul Winner)

Philippians 4:1 and 1 Thessalonians 2:19,20 refer to a crown of rejoicing, which is the ornament and honor represented by the word crown. Paul is talking about the precious, believing Gentiles who will be in heaven with him. As Solomon called grandchildren a crown of the aged in Proverbs 17:6, so too, those who we bring into the Kingdom of God are part of our reward and inheritance! Paul called them his glory and joy. If only we realized this reality, would we be more committed to pulling others along in this race?

“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?  Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”

Crown of Righteousness

I’ll never forget the day someone mentioned to me that God is going to give a crown to those who look forward to His coming. I ran home and ransacked my Bible to find the scripture that told me what kind of crown I would receive, because I have been watching for Jesus to return since I was old enough to understand that he will come back in the clouds! My three year old and I preach this truth to each other almost daily now. She tells me, “Jesus died and then he came back alive and he is in heaven.” And then I tell her, “And he is coming back again! We are going to live with him in heaven!”

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Crown of Life

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). This crown is also promised in Revelation 2:10.

Crown of Glory

“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:4). This promise was written to the elders of the church, who Peter is urging to care for those entrusted to their oversight. Again, the crown of glory is eternal and unfading.

Golden Crown

Jesus wore a crown of thorns when he died for us, but when he returns, He will wear a golden crown! Revelation 14:14

We are admonished to not let any man take our crown! Hold on to it for the day of Christ’s return (Revelation 3:11) and we will wear His name (vs. 12).

God didn’t have to save us, but not only does he save us, he rewards us.

Photos include both family pictures and photographs courtesy of Pixabay.

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