“On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” – Revelation 19:16
Picture a king. Did you think of royal robes, gold, castles, jewels, banquets, and a vast kingdom? To many, Jesus does not fit this image of a king. A king rules over a kingdom.
In European history, the Doctrine of Divine Right meant the ruler had authority directly from God. Kings and rulers took this to mean they were not accountable for their actions by earthly authority and used this mandate to expect people to obey without question. Again, in Jesus’ earthly life, he does not fit this image of a king.
Throughout his earthly life, rather than demanding obedience, Jesus showed humble obedience to God the Father in the way he sacrificed himself. How did Jesus show obedience? “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). Yet there were many who recognized his authority even while observing his humble obedience. The people in the synagogue and the demons even recognized his authority. “And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him” (Mark 1:27).
Jesus, as the King of kings, has authority but also demonstrated accountability to God the Father. “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:26-27 NASB).
The Kingdom of God is unlike any kingdom we can imagine, and King Jesus is unlike any human king. Jesus spoke often of his kingdom, both here on earth and what we can anticipate when our time on earth is over. Our citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom comes when we repent and believe the good news: “If you confess with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 CSB).
How do we show our obedience to our King of kings? In Mark 12, Jesus answered the scribes and Sadducees by saying, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
For us, as we seek to follow Jesus in this world, we continue to look to Jesus as our example. He obeyed his Father and his life was a standard of humble service, divine authority, and steadfast love.
Does your life show that Jesus is your King and His Kingdom is most valuable?
How can you serve your King today?