In the 23rd chapter of Luke, we find a very clear and simple question and answer. Listen.
So, Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said, “It is as you say.” (Luke 23:2-3 NASB)
Question: Are you the King of the Jews?
Answer: It is as you say.
In another week, we will begin to turn our attention toward a baby born in Bethlehem. For some reason, it seems difficult for us to wrap our minds around the fact that a child born to a young girl married to a carpenter having a baby who is placed in a feeding trough has anything to do with royalty.
In recent weeks, we have seen the pageantry associated with kings and queens. We have seen royal wedding, births, and even funerals. They are marked by public spectacle, pomp, and ceremonies. We cannot imagine this young man (about 33 years old) whose birth was so unceremonious is now confessing to the Roman governor that He is in fact the King of the Jews.
Somehow, this young man who was executed on a wooden cross with the caption “King of the Jews” must have a special place in our hearts. He must be the king over our lives.
Paul tells us in his letter to the church in Ephesus that he prays we are able to see what God has done with and through Jesus Christ.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesian 1:18-23 NASB)
Many times, the world so overshadows our lives that we fail to see the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. The riches of His glory came about when God placed Him (Jesus) at His (God’s) right hand. Jesus the Christ, the Anointed, the Messiah was given all rule and authority. He was given rule and dominion over every name.
Jesus having authority was also mentioned by Jesus when He said: And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18 NASB)
All authority is the right of the king. Absolute power to demand and receive the things wanted is almost beyond our ability to comprehend. In our Sunday morning worship service, it may be easy for us to think about this and catch the idea of Jesus as king However, when we leave here and return to our “real world”, we lose sight of our king.
Maybe it is because we grew up in a country where we do not have a king (or queen) we fail to understand the concept of having a king. For many of us, we want a voice in who or what leads our life. We, in fact, do have a voice. It is not just a singular vote; it is the ultimate choice. We choose our king.
If we had time this morning, we could look with detail on the various kingdoms that have marched across the pages of history. We don’t know haw many more will mark their place in history as we move forward from today. Yet, in reality, there are only two kingdoms. God has placed Jesus over one and Satan has leadership of the other.
When we read the Bible, we learn that Satan will lose to Jesus and will forever be banned to the depths of hell. So, as we choose, we need to consider the long-term consequences.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul looks at history and presents that we have all chosen the wrong king. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23). God has not left us without a path to repent (turn away) and chose to follow Christ.
When Paul writes to the Colossian church, he speaks of our king Christ and His moving us from one kingdom to another. Let’s turn to the first chapter of Colossians and begin reading with verse one.
Colossae was along the west coast of Asia Minor and near Laodicea. Paul did not establish the church there nor is there a record of him visiting this church. Yet, as an apostle, Paul wrote to the church to address some issued that had been reported.
The church may have been established by a close companion of Paul. Epaphras is mentioned twice in Colossians and once more in Philemon.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit. (Colossians 1:1-8 NASB)
Paul has heard about this church and he includes them in his prayers. They had heard the message of salvation through Jesus and believed that message. Their life reflected their growth and fruitfulness.
Paul prays for them to continue to walk in the spirit led path as they grow.
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. (Colossians 1:9-12 NASB)
Here we see some of the evidence of their growth. They are bearing fruit in every good work, increasing on knowledge of God, they are steadfast and joyously giving thanks.
The next section focusses on the kingship of Jesus. As stated earlier, there are two choices we have in front of us. By choosing Jesus, He places us in His kingdom.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossian 1:13-14 NASB)
Remember that we saw earlier this morning we have all sinned and therefore were in the realm of Satan. Here we see that through Jesus, God moves us from that realm into the kingdom of His beloved Son. If the son has a kingdom, then the son must be a king.
The final section of our main text this morning runs along the same lines that John opened his gospel account of Jesus. Jesus was in the beginning, Jesus was responsible for everything that was created, and through Him, we become children of God.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:15-20 NASB)
Before we turned to the first chapter of Colossians, we looked at several scriptures that pointed to Jesus as king. In this passage, we reinforce the idea that Jesus is king. He is the real king of this world. He is the king of all creation because; He is the creator of all things (verse 16), He existed before all things. He existed with God and as God before the foundation of the world, and He sustains (holds together) all things. No other person or being can make and prove these claims. Therefore, Jesus is the king of the creation.
Jesus is the king of the church. He is king by virtue of His resurrection. His power over death gives Him the power to reign as king. He is king over the Church because God the Father placed Him in that position. Jesus is God and thus His deity elevates Him to the throne. Finally, He alone is able reconcile us to God through His sacrifice.
Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, we place our allegiance in the king of our life. That king receives our tribute of time, talent, and money. Have we placed our allegiance in a fake king, or have we placed our allegiance in the real king? Have we placed our allegiance in the king who can rescue us from the kingdom of darkness and place us in the kingdom of Jesus Christ, in whom we have forgiveness of our sins?