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The Blue Letter Bible
Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus

Don Stewart :: Was Jesus a King?

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Was Jesus a King?

What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus – Question 39

The Old Testament not only looked forward to a Prophet raised up who was like Moses, it also predicted that Israel would have a “King.” We read of this prediction in the Book of Deuteronomy. Moses wrote,

When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. (Deuteronomy 17:14, 15 NIV)

This passage goes on to say what the king should, and should not, do. The type of king called for was never fulfilled by anyone who ruled Israel or Judah. David was the best king that Israel had, and he became the standard of comparison for later kings. But David was far from the ideal king. Scripture records that he was both a murderer and adulterer. A number of points need to be made.

David Was Promised That One of His Descendants Would Be King Forever

David was given a promise of a king who would be his physical descendant. This man would rule over all of Israel. We read the following promise:

“For when you die, I will raise up one of your descendants, and I will make his kingdom strong. He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he sins, I will use other nations to punish him. But my unfailing love will not be taken from him as I took it from Saul, whom I removed before you. Your dynasty and your kingdom will continue for all time before me, and your throne will be secure forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-16 NLT)

This descendant of David would rule over a united nation forever. Indeed, it would be for “all time.”

Jesus Was the King of the Jews

The New Testament gives the answer as to the identity of this “King.” Jesus Christ is the true King of the Jews. In the announcement of His conception, the angel Gabriel said the following to Mary about the Child who would be born:

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33 NIV)

The objection will be raised that Jesus never ruled as King of the Jews. Quite right. He was the genuine King but was rejected by the unbelieving people. The Bible says,

He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. (John 1:11 NKJV)

The kingdom nevertheless, was rightfully His.

Jesus Was Executed as a King

The New Testament says that Jesus was executed as the King of the Jews. We read in John’s gospel about the sign that Pilate had placed over the cross of Jesus:

And Pilate posted a sign over him that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” (John 19:19 NLT)

Though Pilate did not mean to honor Jesus, the sign recognized Jesus’ rightful position. He was indeed the “King of the Jews.”

The Nature Of His Kingdom Was Not Of This World System

When Jesus had appeared before Pontius Pilate, He told the Roman leader the nature of His kingdom. John records what happened as follows:

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:36, 37 NRSV)

Jesus’ kingdom did not belong to this world system.

Jesus Will Be the King over the Nations at His Return

He will return as the “King of the nations” or “King over the nations.” We read of this in the Book of Revelation:

And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your actions, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations.” (Revelation 15:3 NLT)

Jesus will rule someday as the eternal king. All nations will honor Him.

Jesus Will Rule in Righteousness Forever and Ever

Jesus Christ’s rule will be one of righteousness. The writer to the Hebrews declared this when he wrote the following:

But to his Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in righteousness.” (Hebrews 1:8 NLT)

Righteousness will prevail when Jesus rules. What a wonderful day that will be!

In sum, we find that Jesus Christ is a “King.” Indeed, there will come a day when He will rule and reign on this planet. The good news is that His kingdom will have no end!

Summary – Question 39
Was Jesus a King?

The promise was made to King David that one of his descendants would rule forever as King over a united nation of Israel. As we examine the entire Old Testament period, we find that none of His descendants fulfilled this prediction.

Jesus of Nazareth is that descendant. At the announcement of His conception, the angel Gabriel told Mary that Jesus would be that promised King. However at His First Coming Jesus was rejected as King. Instead of ruling over the nation, He was crucified. Though the title above His cross read, “King of the Jews” Jesus has yet to rule as King.

At His trial, Jesus had told Pontius Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world system. Jesus will indeed someday assume His rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This will occur when He comes again to rule the earth. It is then that the promise made to David, of the everlasting kingdom, will receive its complete fulfillment.

Was Jesus the Prophet That Moses Predicted Would Come into the World? ← Prior Section
Was Jesus Always Confident of His Identity? Next Section →
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