“He’s my King, and O I dearly love Him; He’s my King, no other is above Him: All day long enraptured praise I sing, He’s my Savior, He’s my King (James. D. Vaughn).
John gives us a regal imagery of Jesus the King. He does so in His gospel and in His Revelation. In his Revelation, John describes a grand scene depicting the marriage of the lamb. Further, he tells us that the lamb is He who is faithful and true. He is also introduced as One who has many crowns, that is, the symbol of a King. He is clothed in a robed dipped in blood and His name is the word of God. Don’t miss this! Finally, He is not only a King, not simply the king in the lineage of David, but He is the King of kings. That is, if we took all the kings in all their grandeur, majesty, and power He is a King over all of them. His rule is extended in its majesty over all. There is no challenger to His rule. (Rev. 19:7-16).
When we open our New Testaments and begin to read we are introduced to Jesus the King at His birth. (Matt. 1:23). The wise men come from the east and they inquired of the king? ”Where is He that is born king of the Jews. We have come to worship Him” (Matt.2:2). There is a king born. That is what upset Herod. He asks, “Where is the King?” When the people go to the prophets they know where He is to be born. They know a king is coming. So His very introduction to the world is as King.
Again, in the same setting of His birth Mary is called to accept the idea of His unique birth (Lk. 1:30-33). He will be a child that is unique. He is the One the Jews have been looking for all through the Old Testament. He is called in ancient times Shiloh, the anticipated anointed One. In later times He is called the Messiah, the Christ. The expected One is here. God will make Him great. He will be called the Son of the Highest and He will have the throne of His father, David. He is not going to rule over the tribes of Israel. He is not going to put together land geographically, as in the days of the original United Kingdom. He is not going to restore Solomon’s splendor. But, He is going to be King, in the lineage of David. He is the King that the people have been expecting. Here He is, King of the Jews. So at His birth He is called King of the Jews.
Consider further, at the end of His ministry. He is called before Pilate. What is the charge brought? “Are you king of the Jews” (John. 18:28-38)? When the Jews had tried Him throughout the night and determined to kill Him, they bring Him to Pilate. They know Pilate will not care whether He had spoken blasphemy or not. So they come up with a charge that will get his attention. They came and said, “He claimed to be King of the Jews.” It was this charge that coerced Pilate to examine him but he found no fault in Jesus. The Jews then charge Pilate, “You are taking up with One that is a King,” and word will get back to Rome. They get Pilate’s attention. Pilate examines – he is coerced to crucify Jesus. Pilate’s last insult to the Jews who forced his hand was to post, so that nobody would miss it, “Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews” (John. 19:19).
So we see at His birth He is called King. At His death He is called King.
Further, when Jesus came to Jerusalem for the last time. He sent His disciples ahead and told them to secure a donkey for Him to ride into Jerusalem. They fulfilled the prophecy, “that your King is coming to you, lowly, riding on a donkey, the foal of a donkey” (Matt. 21:4-5). It was a sign given. This was unusual for a king to do. We might have imagined a king riding on the finest, most elegant horse. But kings in their kingly role did not ride horses. Horses were animals for soldiers. When we think of military strength and might we think of horses and chariots. Poor people rode oxen to plow or donkey’s to ride on and do work. These were the animals of the common people. The distinctive animal of the king was a mule. David put Solomon on his mule and displays him to the people as king. But Jesus does not come riding on the royal animal. He will be a king but not in the regal splendor. As King of kings and Lord of lords. He will ride into Jerusalem among shouts and Hosannas of the people of God. He will ride in on the common’s man’s animals, the donkey. He was received like a king. They cast their cloaks before Him, pulled leaves from palm trees and paved His way with the voice of praise and adulation given to a victorious king returning from battle (Matt. 21:9-11).
But, we need a perspective. When we talk about Jesus as King there is a window of time in which He is king. His reign has a beginning and an end. We see the beginning of His reign time when the rule and authority are delivered to Him (1Cor. 15:27-28). Even though He has majestic powers of the Creator, He does not occupy that place of King until the Father delivers it to Him. The Father put everything under His feet. He exercises all power until the time when He comes the second time (1Cor. 15:22-ff). At the time of His coming and resurrection the reign of Jesus ends. Isn’t it strange that people are looking for that occasion when Jesus will come back the second time and they expect Him to begin His reign? Yet, Paul says it is at that time His reign will end. He will reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet and the last enemy is death. That is the last day of the reign of Jesus. He will return to the Father. This is the period of reign of the King.
Further, when He is introduced He is introduced as King of (over) kings and Lord of (over) lords. It is His prerogative to rule over all kings and lords. What is prerogative of the King over kings? All kings have their power because God gave it to them. Nebuchadnezzar learned that lesson the hard way (Dan. 2:21; 4:1-37). Pilate learned it (John 19:11). Ironic, when Jesus stands before Pilate He tells Him there is One greater (vs. 11). Standing before Pilate is the One who gave him his power. He is above all principalities and powers (Eph. 1:20-23). Jesus has been given a place greater than all kings. He is King over Kings. The One who put all things under Him is the exception to the rule.
The objective of Jesus rule as King is expressed in the prayer He teaches His disciples to pray (Matt. 6:9-13). “Our Father in heaven Hallowed be your name Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10). When we talk Jesus as King we are talking about His rule. When we talk about the kingdom we are talking about the domain of the king. The area is which the king exercises His authority. Jesus rule has no geographical boundaries. The nature of His rule is not like kingdoms of the earth. The kingdom of God has to do with spiritual things (Rom. 14:17). It is in the hearts of men. Jesus uses the absolute perfect observance of the will of God in heaven to teach that is how men are to regard His rule on earth. The prayer is that people will have the kind of heart and submission to His rule on earth as absolutely, complete and unqualified as it is in heaven. When men on earth would say, “Lord whatever you want me to do, that is what I am going to do; absolutely, completely, no excuses.” The will of God, in His kingdom, in the ideal, is for it to be done earth like it is in heaven.
So we sing and shout, “From the earth from the sky breaks forth the royal cry, ‘Our Lord is King most high!’ Crucified…He revived, that’s why He’s King most high. My Lord is great and good, and he will hear my cry; He’ll ever lives and ever reign, my Lord and King most high” ((James Cope and R.J. Stevens).
A few things for to think about:
- People with hearts like that will follow when He calls (John. 1:35-51).
- As King, He rules for our good.
- We are citizens in His kingdom. His rule is not capricious, selfish or abusive.
- His kingdom is open to all.
- He is King. He is also Savior, Lord and Shepherd.
- He has given us everything we need in a spiritual way.
by Rickie Jenkins