Sunday (November 25): "My kingship is not of this world"

Meditation: Do you recognize that the Lord Jesus have been given all authority and power to reign over heaven and earth? Jesus was crucified for his claim to be the Messiah King (John 18:37) who would rule not only over his people Israel but ultimately over all the nations as well (Daniel 7:13-14).

God is King and Ruler over all
What is the significance or meaning of Jesus' kingship for us? Kingship today seems antiquated, especially in democratic societies where everyone is treated equal and free. God at first did not want to give his people Israel a king. Why? Because God alone was their King and they needed no other. Nonetheless, God relented and promised his people that through David's line he would establish a Ruler and a Kingdom that would last for eternity (Psalm 89:29).

The Jews understood that the Messiah ("Anointed One") would come as God's anointed King to restore paradise and establish God's reign of everlasting peace for them. They wanted a Messianic King who would free them from strife and division and from foreign oppression. Many had high hopes that Jesus would be the Messiah and Ruler for Israel. Little did they understand what kind of kingship Jesus claimed to possess.

Jesus' claim to kingship
Jesus came to deliver his people, and the whole world, from the worst kind of tyranny possible - from bondage to sin, condemnation and death, and to free us from Satan's kingdom of deception, oppression, and destruction. Jesus came to conquer hearts and souls for an unshakeable kingdom - a kingdom ruled not by force or fear - but by the power of God's righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

When Satan tempted Jesus during his forty day fast in the wilderness, he offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:8-9) Jesus knew that the world was in Satan's power. And this was precisely why Jesus came - to overthrow Satan's power and deception over the earth. Jesus knew that the way to victory was through submission to his Father's will and strategy for overcoming sin and Satan in the world. The Father sent his only begotten Son into the world, not to condemn it, but to save it through the atoning sacrifice which Jesus would make for us through the shedding of his blood on the cross of Calvary.

As Jesus was dying on the cross, he was mocked for his claim to kingship. Nonetheless, he died not only as King of the Jews, but King of all the nations as well. His victory over the power of sin, Satan, and the world, was accomplished through his death on the cross and his resurrection. Jesus exchanged a throne of glory for a cross of shame to restore us from slavery to sin to glory with God as his adopted sons and daughters. In the Book of Revelations Jesus is called King of kings and Lord and lords (Revelations 19:16).  Do you recognize Jesus Christ as your King and Lord?

Which ruler and kingdom will you serve?
The Scriptures tell us that there are ultimately only two kingdoms in this world which are opposed to one another - the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Each kingdom is ruled by one lord or master  - the Lord Jesus Christ who is the true "Light of the World" - or the false messiah and ruler who is called the "anti-Christ" and an "angel of light" who rules by lies and deception.

If we serve the Lord Jesus Christ he will open our eyes to the light of his truth and guide us on the course that leads to our true homeland and security with God. If we follow the course which is set by the world - a world which is opposed to Christ and blinded by Satan - then we will discover that sin, pride, and greed will lead us down a path of destruction, division, and death rather than life, community, and freedom.

Which kingdom will you serve - today and for all eternity? The world which passes away or God's kingdom which lasts for all time? If we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and King we become citizens of an everlasting kingdom which is governed by God's righteousness, peace, and love. Is your life submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?

"Lord Jesus Christ, you are my King and there is no other. Be the Lord and Master of my heart, mind, body, and soul. May I always seek to do your will and to serve your kingdom above all else."

This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/