Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Devotion: What We Should Know About OUR Jesus! #1

What We Should Know About OUR Jesus! #1

Jesus as King

I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will display at the proper time--He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. -- 1 Timothy 6:13-16; English Standard Version (emphasis mine)

It's been a long time since our country has had a king. The last king we had we rebelled against in 1776. As Americans we fail to understand the office and authority of a king. When it comes to political governance, I am glad no one man or woman has singular authority over our nation. I like the system of the republic we enjoy (though a democracy would be better). I digress. All I am saying is that we are generally unfamiliar with monarchies and I believe that causes us to miss some of the richness of Lord Jesus as King.

Make no mistake, however, God is King of kings. Jesus also shares that same title (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Why do both share the title? Simple. Both are God. Furthermore, God has made Jesus "heir of all things" (Hebrews 1:2; KJV). Being King of kings means that all authority is in His hands. Most people (rightly) automatically think of Romans 13:1-6 where we understand that God grants any authority who has authority. However, it's more than that; God, and subsequently Jesus, is King over YOU and ME as well! He IS King over every king (or president or prime minister or emporer or whatever), but He is King over every subject.

That's why Paul told Timothy to "keep this commandment". Timothy was to keep it in view of the authority of THE King.

There is an Anglican preacher / professor named N.T. Wright that has written much on the subject of Jesus as King. I agree with Wright when he asserts that Paul's preaching of the "good news" was both the announcement that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Messianic promise of the Savior AND as the world's Lord. Jesus IS both!

That was what was so radical about Paul's preaching. To the world (and specifically the Jew) Paul was announcing that salvation had come through Christ Jesus. To the world (and specifically his Roman listeners) Paul was announcing that a new Caesar was in charge and His name is Lord Jesus, King of kings. Romans were made to affirm Caesar as god and king. Paul's preaching was asserted that Jesus superceded Caesar in both things.

It's hard to say all of this in a few words, but I pray God seasons it with His Spirit. Paul preached, and believed, that Jesus was the Messianic fulfillment of Isaiah 40 and 52 (I'll trust you to read that). It was Jewish thought that already believed that, because they were the chosen people of God, their king was rightly the king of all nations anyway (Psalm 72:8). Jesus was vindicated as Savior and King when He rose from the grave, thus finishing His work as Savior and making His royal succession as King. No other Savior, but Jesus. No King above Him. Thank God that the root of Jesse and the descendant of David was Christ Jesus, God and King and not just another guy inheriting a royal line!

You might be wondering what this has to do with us today. Number one, as our King, Jesus has the royal right to exercise authority over us. (I wish I could enlarge the "." because it's emphatic on this point.) Number two, His authority is not open for vote. Number three, there is none above Him. Number four, as King, Lord Jesus has the power to write His law upon our hearts. Number five, as King, Lord Jesus has the intention to set up His kingdom within us where He desires to rule over our entire life. Number six, we are to bow in respect, awe and obedience to Him. Number seven, we MUST vow COMPLETE allegiance to Him!

Yes, King Father; yes, King Jesus...to YOU be "honor and eternal dominion"! You are our King and we are Your subjects. You have the right to rule and we have the joy to be under Your rule. All hail King Jesus!

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

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