Jesus stood in the praetorium after a night of being arrested and questioned by Caiaphas the high priest. Now it was Pilate who asked him, “Are you a king then?” Jesus replied, “You say rightly that I am a king” (John 18:37). And what a King!
He is the King of the Jews. In Matthew, a delegation of Eastern Magi arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?” Near the end of Matthew, a sign is affixed to the cross of Jesus reading, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.”
He is the King of Israel. In John 1:49, Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
He is the King of Righteousness. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus was prefigured by Melchizedek, the mysterious character in the book of Genesis, “to whom Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated ‘King of Righteousness.'”
He is the King of Peace. In the same passage in Hebrews 7, Jesus is compared with Melchizedek in his role as king of Salem, which, according to verse 2, means “King of Peace.”
He is the King Over All the Earth. This title is found near the end of the Old Testament, in the passage in Zechariah describing our Lord’s glorious return. “And the LORD shall be King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:4, 8-9).
He is the King of Glory. This is another messianic title from the Old Testament. In Psalm 24, King David cries, “Lift up your heads… And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty…he is the King of glory.”
He is King of kings and Lord of lords. In Revelation 19 as Christ returns to earth in triumph, we read: “And he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
The rulers of this world enjoy limited authority for a limited time—current events in our world today exemplify that truth. Only Jesus possesses infinite authority for all of eternity. Many rulers have improved the quality of life for their subject but only one gives abundant life and eternal life.
Except for him, all leaders, being human, are flawed. Many have unleashed wars, triggered riots, annihilated opponents, bankrupted treasuries and acted as fools.
Others have exhibited great courage and demonstrated legendary leadership.
But only one belongs to eternity. He’s the King of an endless empire. Jesus rules above the stars and within the heart.
He is Lord of heaven and earth. As the New Testament opens, he is coming from heaven to earth as a baby, as the King of the Jews. As the New Testament ends, he’s coming on a white charger as the King of kings.
The Emperor Napoleon is said to have made this assessment of Christ: “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force! Jesus Christ alone founded His empire upon love: and at this hour millions of men would die for him. I have so inspired multitudes that they would die for me; but, after all, my presence was necessary—the lighting of my eye, my voice, a word from me—then the sacred fire was kindled in their hearts. Now that I am at St. Helena, alone, chained upon this rock, who fights and wins empires for me? What an abyss between my deep misery and the eternal reign of Christ who is proclaimed, loved, adored and whose reign is extending over all the earth.”
Inside our hearts there is a throne, and around that throne are all the components that make up our lives—finances, jobs, marriage, children, home, hobbies, habits, leisure, church, entertainment, health. When Jesus sits as King on the throne of our hearts, all these areas fall into submission under his authority. In the process, he blesses all that he reigns over. He brings peace, joy and everlasting hope. He elicits worship, praise and never-ending thanksgiving.
“My King…had no predecessor and he’ll have no successor. There’s nobody before him and there’ll be nobody after him” (S.M. Lockridge).
That’s our King of kings; that’s our Lord of lords.