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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Was Jesus a King?

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Don Stewart

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:

When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, 'I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me, you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother' (Deuteronomy 17:14,15).

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.

David Was Promised A Descendant Who Would Be King Forever

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

When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your Fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever . . . And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever (2 Samuel 7:12,13,16).

He Was The King Of The Jews

The New Testament gives the answer that Jesus Christ is the true King of the Jews:

Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end' (Luke 1:30-33).

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.

He came unto his own, and his own did not receive him (John 1:11).

The kingdom nevertheless, was rightfully His.

Jesus Was Executed As A King

Jesus was executed as the King of the Jews.

Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS (John 19:19).

The Nature Of His Kingdom

When Jesus appeared before Pontius Pilate He told the Roman leader the nature of His kingdom.

My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight. Pilate therefore said to him, 'Are you a king then?' Jesus answered, 'You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world' (John 18:36,37).

He Will Rule In Righteousness

Christ's rule will be one of righteousness

But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom" (Hebrews 1:8).

He Was Recognized By Some Of The People

Some, but not all of the people, recognized Jesus as king.

And Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus (Acts 17:7).

Jesus Is The King Of The Ages

He will return as the "King of the ages."

And sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages" (Revelation 15:3).


The promise was made to King David that one of his descendants would rule forever as King. Jesus is that descendant. At the announcement of his conception the angel Gabriel told Mary that Jesus would be the promised King. However at his First Coming Jesus was rejected as King and crucified. The title above His cross read "king of the Jews."

Yet Jesus told Pilate that his kingdom is not of this world system. Jesus will 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.

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