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Jesus, Christ the King


The kingship of Jesus was 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 and ruled only 40 years. The promise came to its completion only in Jesus, who established the universal kingdom and rules it forever. Nathanael, who was aware of this Davidic covenant, knowing that Jesus was not a worldly king (Jn 18:36), professed his faith in Jesus as the King of Israel. “The King” and not “a king” implies that Jesus was the messianic King God had sent to liberate and rule over Israel.

There are several references to the kingship of Jesus in the Bible:

At the time of annunciation, Angel Gabriel told Mary, “the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will 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, “Rabbi, 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 fulfillment of a prophesy: “Behold, your king is coming to you.” (Mt 21:5). People welcomed him, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” (Mt 21:9).

The accusation the Jews brought to Pilate against Jesus was that he claimed to be the king of Jews because they knew it would irritate the Roman governor. That was why Pilate questioned Jesus, 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 saying, “My kingdom does not belong to this world” (Jn 18:36).

The soldiers of Pilate mocked Jesus based on the accusation against Jesus’ claiming as a temporal king. “Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” (Mt 27:29).

The inscription Pilate placed on the cross of Jesus was: “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews” (Jn 19:19).


Though Jesus is the king, he taught us the servant leadership. As his followers, we are called to lead others along with us through our sacrificial service. Let us surrender to the leadership and guidance of Jesus, our King and savior.

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