3.4.7.1 Jesus Christ–the King

When the angel of the Lord announced the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary, he said: "He [Jesus] will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest ... And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1: 32-33).

The wise men from the East asked for the newborn King of the Jews whom they had come to worship (Matthew 2: 2).

In Jesus Christ the promise that God had given through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise to David a branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgement and righteousness in the earth" (Jeremiah 23: 5).

Nathanael, one of the first disciples of Jesus, professed: "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" (John 1: 49). However Jesus' kingship was not rooted in any earthly regency and was not manifest in outward power, but rather demonstrated in the authority of His actions and in the signs and miracles He performed.

Jesus definitively rejected all notions that He was striving for an earthly kingdom or that He would accept any political mandate.

All four gospels mention how Jesus entered into Jerusalem prior to His suffering and death. In so doing, He revealed Himself as the King of peace and justice whom the prophet Zechariah had already announced (Zechariah 9: 9). The people would gladly have made Jesus the earthly king of Israel, and cheered His coming (John 12: 13).

Even during His questioning by Pilate, Jesus made clear that His kingdom was not of this world and that He made no claim to the power of an earthly ruler. Pilate responded to the words of Jesus as follows: "Are you a king then?" He thereby gave the Son of God the opportunity to speak of His kingship: "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth." Here Jesus even professed before a representative of the worldly power of Rome and of the Gentiles that He is King and witness of the truth (John 18: 33-37).

His death on the cross constitutes the highpoint and conclusion of an abasement which was, in reality, the path to Jesus Christ's exaltation. "Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross; and the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS ... and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin" (John 19: 19-20). In a deeper sense, this caption in three languages served to make the kingship of Christ known to the entire world.

The royal dignity of Jesus Christ is also emphasised in the Revelation of Jesus Christ: He is "ruler over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 1: 5). When the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, he announces that "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Revelation 11: 15). The rule of Jesus Christ will then be manifest everywhere.

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