The King of Kings
by Fr. Rufus Pereira
Two thousand years ago, the angel Gabriel of heaven announced to the virgin Mary of Nazareth, that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to a son, whose name should be Jesus (i.e. Saviour), whose title would be Son of God, whose destiny was to be the King of Israel and whose goal would be to possess an Eternal Kingdom (Luke 1:32-33). Not long after his birth, while Herod, then King of the Jews, sought the child to destroy Him (Matthew 2:23), the Magi, wise men or kings from the East, sought the new born infant King of the Jews to pay Him homage and worship Him (Matthew 2:1,2,11). This is the beginning of the Good News of Great Joy to All Peoples (Luke 2:10-12).
But it would be thirty years later that this 'new born King' would proclaim that His Kingdom was soon to come (Mark 1:15). And still three years later, in answer to the questioning of the Roman Governor, "Are you then king?" and, "So, then you are a king?" Jesus would state categorically, "Yes, I am a King! I was born for this!" but add immediately, "But my Kingdom is not of this world"(John 18:33,36,37). However only after His resurrection, would the title on the Cross, exposing the criminal charge against him, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews", prove after all to be true in an exceptional way (John 19:19-22), starting with the unbelieving Thomas' admission, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).
In the early Church, the risen Christ was always called the LORD, both in the Jewish equivalent to Yahweh's true Godhead, as well as in the Roman expression of the Emperor's assumed divinity. Jesus came to be recognised as having dominion over all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, over the heavenly powers and the earthly creatures, being hailed as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 10:16; Col. 1:16-17; Phil 2:9-11). The last book of the Bible concludes the Good News thus: "The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever" (Rev. 11:15).
What does it mean then for us to call Him King and Lord especially in today's by far democratic world? He is King because of his dignity, for He is not just another human being, however perfect and sinless, but He is Son of God, the God-man, a claim which no other religious leader would ever dare to make. He is the King because of His accomplishment, for in fulfilment of the promises God made to His chosen people, He has redeemed us from the power of Satan by his blood, and has given us the power of the Holy Spirit, thus making of us His very own body, God's special people and family, and the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 2:9; Eph. 4:15,16).
But He is our King above all because of His expectations of us His disciples (Ps. 95:7), to live a life not in conformity with the standards of the world, but transformed inwardly by a compete change of our minds, through a daily and systematic study of Scripture (Matthew 5:20,48), for then we will be able to know the will of God, what is good and perfect and is pleasing to Him (Romans 12:2; Mark 8:33; Luke 24:27,45; Acts 17:11); a life of unquestioned love and loyalty, that will be seen especially in our daily commitment to spending time with the Lord in prayer, for "whoever comes to Me cannot be my disciple unless he loves Me more than he loves his father and his mother, his wife and his children, and himself as well (Luke 14:26); and a life of loving obedience to His will (Phil. 2:5-11), for "no man can serve two masters" (Luke 16:13), and "if any one wants to be a follower of Mine, he must forget himself and take up his cross and follow Me" (Mark 8:34).
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Led by the Spirit reproduced with permission from Charisindia. Copyright © 2004 Fr. Rufus Pereira. All rights reserved.