Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe, Year B
Psalm 93:1-2, 5
November 22, 2015
We call Jesus “king” but what does this really mean for us?
The Jews had long been waiting for a new messiah. The messiah they were looking for was heir to the throne of David. They saw this to mean the messiah would restore the kingdom of Israel on Earth and make them a great nation once again.
Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate only asked the question because those who opposed Jesus had come to Pilate saying Jesus was making himself out to be a king and that was a threat to Caesar’s power.
Jesus responded by saying, “My kingdom does not belong to this world….my kingdom is not here.”
Jesus is indeed a king but not in the way Pilate is concerned with. Pilate’s interest lies only in political kingship. Jesus has no interest in being a political king. Jesus’ focus is on faith and the theological meaning of kingship.
We see Jesus’ kingship come in its fullness in the heavenly kingdom but we come to know of the heavenly kingdom while we are still in this world. Jesus comes to tell us of the heavenly kingdom. Jesus comes to bring us truth. We call Jesus “king” and that means following the truth he brings.
In recognizing Jesus as king in Heaven, we turn to images of what that kingdom will be like. That leads us to the Book of the Prophet Daniel and the Book of Revelation.
These two books contain multiple images of what the heavenly kingdom will be like. Daniel presents the image of the Son of Man coming as the one who received “dominion” and “kingship” from the Ancient One. Jesus gets his authority from God.
Daniel also speaks of how “his kingship shall not be destroyed.” No earthly kingdom lasts forever and so we see this pointing to the heavenly kingdom.
Revelation reminds us of how Jesus shed his blood for us. Many kings expect people (soldiers) to shed their blood for the king but Jesus turns that around and sheds his blood for us. Jesus comes not to be served but to serve.
Revelation goes onto speak of the Lord as “the alpha and the omega.” Alpha is the first character of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last so this points to God as the beginning and the end. Jesus has always existed and will always exist as our king here on Earth and in Heaven. Jesus is king everywhere. Jesus is “king of the universe.”
What does calling Jesus “king” mean for us?
First, going back to what Jesus said, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” Jesus gives us the truth that only God can offer.
If we believe in Jesus, we need to get rid of the idea that seems to be growing in the world today, that there is no one truth. There is and we don’t get to decide what it is. The truth comes from God. We can accept or reject it but our rejection doesn’t change the truth.
What else does it mean to call Jesus “king”?
To call Jesus “king” is to accept him as our leader. As I already said, many earthly kings expected the people to serve them, to be willing to shed blood for the king.
Jesus turns that around and sheds his blood for us, to call us to serve. When we lead, we must not lead for our own gain in wealth or power. When we lead, we must serve the needs of others.
When a parent leads their family, it must be for the good of the whole family and not just for the parent to get what they want.
When we are a supervisor at work, we must work to help others become better.
When a politician leads, it must be for the good of the people.
When any of us leads, it must not be to get our own way. Our goal must always remember the words in the Our Father, thy kingdom come, thy will be done.