He Will Be King
Jesus is going to be King. More directly, Jesus is going to be your king. You’ve probably seen the gilded paintings of him with his velvety hair, feminine features, and gaunt pasty completion. Don’t blame the artists, they’re working from a frail and lopsided depiction of Jesus that hardly represents his full nature. Church art has long abandoned the robust, hammer swinging, table turning, powerhouse that makes up his character. We’ve focused on his softer side so long that we’ve forgotten how to see him any other way. Throw every image of Jesus you’ve ever seen out the window if you have to. Remove the clutter, because this is important. He will be king. You will be his subject. Like it or not. That’s how it will be.
We’re at a bit of a loss when we try to understand kings and kingdoms. Our disadvantage is that we are children of democracy, from the bloodline of strong men who swore off tyranny and dictatorship long ago. Though, if you travel far enough backward through time it’s clear that our ancestors had Kings; good ones and bad ones. In fact, humans have employed kings for such a long time, that the few centuries of kingless democracy that we are experimenting with now is hardly more than a dot on the timeline. The reign of kings went bad often enough that the title “king” is almost synonymous with “cruel”. Although, there were good kings from time to time, every history teacher I’ve ever had made it sound as if decapitation was a national past time for virtually every king whose graced the world with his rulership.
Some people in the world still have dictators (which is basically an angry synonym for “king”). I’m not saying that it always works out for them. Most people would rather stick their barefoot in a boot full of cobras than live in a country controlled by a modern dictator. Boat loads of people stream out of dictator torn countries every day of the year. Those people know something that we don’t. They know how bad it can be to be subjects. Being a subject of a bad dictator is like trying to get some sleep in a house on fire, that’s locked from the outside.
Knowing that we will live out our eternity under a dictator brings up all kinds of strange and prickly questions. How do we treat a Monarch? Should I bow or curtsy? Will we be free? Isn’t freedom a good thing? Ain’t God the founder of ‘Merica?” The questions come in like train cars, but it doesn’t change the fact that, if you are a believer you will live out your everlasting existence as a subject of a King. Don’t think you can escape having a king by not being a believer either, but more on that in a minute. God said this through Ezekiel, “As I live,” says the Lord God, “most certainly with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be King over you.”
You will never ever be free of this dictator. He will always rule over you. He will always be your master. You will always be his servant. You can’t escape it. His rulership will last forever, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
It sounds dismal, right? That’s ok, I laid it on thick to make this point. Many people, Christians I mean, know very little about this person who will one day rule the world with an iron rod. (Revelation 2:27, 12:5, Psalm 2:9) Those that think Jesus is no longer relevant will probably have a pretty different opinion when he’s sitting on a throne in Jerusalem, as the commander and chief of the world.
You might be thinking, “wait a minute, Jesus is going to actually be the world dictator?” I know right? It sounds like the stuff that makes up science fiction. An extraterrestrial King incarnated into a human body will return to the planet, kill the armies of the world that oppose him, and rule a world empire. Yep, that’s in the basic outline of the Bible. One of his early eye-witnesses of Jesus said, “every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord… in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth.” (Philippians 2:10) Despite what you think about the Bible, that is its fundamental message. This world-wide kingdom, with Jesus as monarch, is the point. It was the point of Jesus’ first appearance on the Earth, and it’s what believers everywhere have to look forward to, whether they know it or not.
Maybe you should get to know him a little bit, now that you know you are going to be an eternal subject of this iron-wielding, world dictator, whose dripping with his enemies’ blood. That’s right, that’s in the Bible too.
It’s kind of a tough spot. If he turns out to be a Darth Vader type, force-choking anyone who disagrees, then eternity is going to be pretty rough. If he’s villainous, we’re toast. If he’s a bad ruler, then we’re doomed. If he’s selfish, then we’re going to suffer. Our only hope for this worldwide “kingdom of God” as he called it, is if he is good. No not just good, he would need to be really really really good.
As a species, we’ve employed a lot of Kings, and it usually turns out pretty bad. It’s not as if we’re just throwing any average George III up there on the throne. We’ve really tried to put the best of the best in power, and they usually tyrannize all over their subjects like there’s no tomorrow, and half the time cut their heads off as a bonus. Our eternal hope is that Jesus is going to be better than any human king could ever be. The stakes are high, but there’s hope. There is more than enough evidence to prove that Jesus is not only good, but that he will be an exceedingly great King, and his Kingdom is the chief establishment that believers should look to.