Powered by Fr. Abraham Mutholath Foundation NFP



Matthew’s gospel starts with the genealogy of Jesus, highlighting his lineage as a son of David (Mt 1:1). The emphasis here is on the royalty or kingship of Jesus and as the fulfilment of the Davidic Covenant. God promised to David: “When the time comes for you to rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your son after you, the one born of you, and I will make his reign secure. He shall build a house for my name and I will firmly establish his kingship forever” (2 Sam 7:12-13). The fulfilment of this promise happened only partially in David’s son Solomon who built the Temple. The promise came to its completion only in Jesus who established the universal kingdom and rules it forever. Jesus was a descendant of David through Mary and his adopted father Joseph as per the genealogy that Luke and Matthew present.

The Jews believed that the Messiah must be the Son of David. That was a popular expectation of the public regarding the Messiah. Many people refer to Jesus as the Son of David, indicating this clearly. Some examples are the crowds who doubted the Messiahship of Jesus (Mt 12:23), the Canaanite woman (Mt 15:22), the crowds that welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem shouting Hosanna (Mt 21:9), and Bartimaeus who was a blind beggar (Mk 10:48).

The kingship of Jesus differs from the concept of kingship in the world. The Jews misunderstood Messiah as a secular king who would liberate them from foreign rulers. The alien monarchs one after another like Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans ruled the Israelites, and that frustrated them. Even the disciples asked Jesus before the ascension, “Lord, is it now that you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). However, Jesus’ role was to reestablish the Kingdom of God by saving humanity from the bondage of Satan, sin, suffering, and death that had entered the world because of the fall of the first parents. That is the permanent solution that God had offered to Adam. At the end times, Jesus “is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with him are called, chosen and faithful” (Rev 17:14).

There are several references to the kingship of Jesus in the Bible. At the time of the annunciation, Angel Gabriel told Mary, “The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever and his reign shall have no end” (Lk 1:32-33). Jesus preached that the Kingdom of God was at hand (Mt 4:17; Mk 1:14-15; Lk 4:43; 11:20). Nathanael acknowledged Jesus, “Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (Jn 1:49). Matthew quoting from Zechariah 9:9 reported that the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was the fulfilment of a prophecy: “Behold, your king is coming to you” (Mt 21:5). The people welcomed him saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David” (Mt 21:9). The accusation Jews brought to Pilate against Jesus was that he claimed to be the king of Jews because they knew that it would aggravate the Roman governor. Hence, Pilate questioned Jesus by asking, “Are You the King of the Jews?” to which he answered: “It is as you say” (Mt 27:11; Mk 15:2; Lk 23:3). Jesus clarified to Pilate, “My kingship does not come from this world” (Jn 18:36). The Roman soldiers mocked Jesus based on his claim to kingship. “Then, twisting a crown of thorns, they forced it onto his head, and placed a reed in his right hand. They knelt before Jesus and mocked him, saying, ‘Long live the King of the Jews!’” (Mt 27:29). When Pilate asked, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” This was a clear denial of God as their king (1 Sam 12:12, Judg 8:23) and acceptance of the pagan emperor instead. Hatred of humans can lead to the denial of God because we cannot accept God by hating and maltreating others. The inscription Pilate placed on Jesus’ cross was: “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews” (Jn 19:19).

Christ’s kingship is unlike any earthly reign is rooted in humility, service, and sacrificial love. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus exemplifies a different kind of leadership. He washes the feet of His disciples, dines with sinners, and ultimately lays down His life for humanity. His resurrection and ascension affirm His victory over sin and death, solidifying His role as King of kings and Lord of lords.

The biblical foundation for Christ’s kingship can be seen in passages like Revelation 19:16, which proclaims, “He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.’” Similarly, in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus speaks of His return in glory, seated on His throne as a king, to judge the nations.


Jesus’ kingship differs significantly from worldly standards. He did not come to dominate or assert power over others. Instead, He came to serve. During Pilate’s interrogation, Jesus declared, “I am a king.” However, His kingship was not about earthly fame, glory, or power. It was about selfless service.

Jesus acknowledged to Pilate that he is king, but his kingdom does not belong to this world (Jn 18:36). Jesus told his disciples: “you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world” (Jn 15:19). He has chosen us out of the world to be the citizens of his divine kingdom. We must be loyal to his leadership, so we later enter the fullness of his kingdom.

Recognizing Christ as King requires Christians to pledge their ultimate allegiance to Him above all earthly powers and authorities. This allegiance is not merely symbolic but calls for a transformative way of living that aligns with the teachings and example of Jesus.

Christ’s kingdom is characterized by love, mercy, and service. Christians are called to mirror these values in their lives. The parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37) and the teachings of Jesus in the Beatitudes (Mt 5:1-12) provide blueprints for living out the principles of Christ’s kingdom.

Jesus, as King, champions justice and compassion. His ministry consistently reached out to the marginalized and oppressed. Christians are called to advocate for justice, work towards the common good, and show compassion to the needy, reflecting the heart of their King.

In a world often divided by conflict and strife, Christ the King offers a vision of unity and peace. Ephesians 2:14-18 speaks of Christ breaking down the dividing walls of hostility, creating one new humanity. Christians are thus called to be peacemakers and agents of reconciliation.

The feast of Christ the King serves as a profound reminder of the ultimate authority of Jesus Christ over all aspects of life. It challenges Christians to live out their faith with renewed commitment to love, justice, and peace.

As members of the church, we are in the Kingdom of God started and headed by Christ. The salvation history will culminate when the Father enthrones Jesus as the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:16). By recognizing Christ’s kingship, we are urged to change ourselves and our world, mirroring the compassionate and service-oriented rule of our King. Christ the King serves as the sovereign ruler and the ideal role model for Christians, inspiring them to live a life that honors God and uplifts others.

©Bibleinterpretation.org. All Rights Reserved 2024