We are in an Advent sermon series in which we are discussing Jesus’ three-fold office: Prophet, Priest, and King. Two weeks ago, we discussed that Jesus is the Prophet of Prophets. He is the greatest of Prophets because He perfectly reveals to us God’s Word. Last week, we discussed the role of Jesus as Priest of Priests (the Great High Priest) as He intercedes for us on behalf of God. Today, we shall discuss Jesus’ role as King of kings as He rules and reigns supreme with no rival and no equal.
What is a King?
A King is the supreme ruler in a particular area. A king rules over his kingdom (e.g., king’s domain). Ancient Israel had kings, but was not originally established as a monarchy (i.e., government led by a king/monarch). It was established as a theocracy (i.e., a government led by God). The Lord originally had Moses, then Joshua, and then various Judges rule on His behalf. The last Judge was Samuel. The Lord knew that one day Israel would ask for a king. This is why He gave instruction concerning the king in Deuteronomy 17. The King must be an Israelite (Deut 17:15). He must not acquire much wealth, wives, or horses (Deut 17:16-17). He should know and study the Law of God (Deut 17:18-20). He should guide Israel to remain faithful to the Lord because He was to represent the Lord’s rule on earth.
In 1 Samuel 8:4-9, the elders of Israel asked for “a king to judge us like all the nations.” While this may sound like a good thing, this request was very bad because they were rejecting the Lord’s rule over them. They wanted a king so “that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles” (1 Sam 8:20). This displeased Samuel because Israel was never designed to be like the nations, they were to be a light to the nations. Through the nation of Israel, the world was to know the true and living God and it was through Israel that the Messiah would come. The Lord told Samuel to do as they requested; saying, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them” (1 Sam 8:7).
The problem wasn’t that the Israelites asked for a king, but that they wanted a king who would replace the Lord. The first king of Israel was not Saul (1 Sam 9), it was the Lord (1 Sam 8:7). They wanted to be like the nations around them with a king who judged them and led them into battle. They were not content to wait for the Lord to give them the kind of king they needed. God gave them what they wanted: Saul. Beware of what you ask for, you just might get it. Saul looked the part as he was “tall, dark, and handsome” (1 Sam 9:2). It quickly became apparent, however, that Saul was not true to the Lord as he disobeyed God’s instruction. This led to the Lord rejecting Saul (1 Sam 13-15). The Lord–as He delights in doing–brought good out of this situation. He told Samuel to anoint “a man after His own heart” (1 Sam 13:14) and sent him to anoint David. While David might not have looked the part (unlike Saul), we are told that God does not look at outward appearance but at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). David eventually became king and served the Lord faithfully.
A King like David
After David died, the kingship passed through his sons. Some were faithful, many were not. The Prophets soon began to speak of the Messiah who would come and sit on David’s throne. He would be David’s son and would rule as the perfect king. The Prophet Jeremiah said, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and prosper and do justice and righteousness in the land” (Jer 23:5). The Prophet Ezekiel added, “Then I will establish over them one shepherd, my servant David, and He will shepherd them; He will shepherd them Himself and be their shepherd” (Ez 34:23). The Prophet Amos wrote, “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the ancient days” (Amos 9:11). Finally, the Prophet Isaiah said of the Messiah: “There will be no end to the increase of His government and of peace, on the throne of David over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this” (Is 9:7).
Submit to King Jesus
The promised king like David has come and His name is Jesus. The angel Gabriel told Mary, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of His kingdom” (Luke 1:31-33). Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses (Matt 5:17). Jesus currently sits at the right hand of the Father on the throne of David (Acts 2:29-36) because of His sinless life (2 Cor 5:21), sacrificial death (Ps 22, Is 53), powerful resurrection (John 20), and glorious ascension (Acts 1). Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 17:14, 19:19). As the King of kings and Lord of lords, you should fear Him and love Him.
We should fear Him.
We should fear Jesus because He is powerful. Do you think Jesus is weak? When you hear that Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, do you think that is out of cowardice? The description we have of Jesus Christ is a powerful King. He punishes evil; He is not afraid of it. He strikes down the nations; He is not intimidated by them. He rules with a rod of iron, not out of trembling. Jesus is the conquering King! The Bible says it is a “fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:31). He deserves our respect, praise, worship, and honor.
We should love Him.
We should love Jesus because He is our powerful and conquering King who is faithful and true. His wrath is against evil. For His children, He “will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5) and He wants you to “cast cares upon Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Consider the power of our Lord and consider that He is working “all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
You should fear Him because there is no king greater than Him and there is no lord higher than Him. You should love Him because of what He has done on your behalf.