Jesus, the King

  • He’s my King, and O I dearly love Him; He’s my King, no other is above Him: All day long enraptured praise I sing, He’s my Savior, He’s my King (James. D. Vaughn).

If you could choose the form of government under which you would live, what would you choose? Many individuals have never been able to choose for themselves. But I would surmise that most Americans would choose to live under some form of a democracy or a representative republic. We fought a war to free us from a monarchy, didn’t we?

But the kingdom of God, by His choosing is not a democracy, or a republic. The people of God serve a King. But He is not a tyrannical dictator or a despot. He is a King that is loved by His servants, and submitted to willingly by the citizens of the kingdom.

In our look at Jesus this month, I want to consider Jesus, as He is presented as the King.

I. The Prediction of the Coming King: The Prophets of Israel who spoke about the Messiah presented a multifaceted picture. But the consensus was that the One was coming was to be a King over His people.

In 2 Samuel 7 the text tells us that the prophet Nathan revealed to King David that One from his lineage would inherit His throne and rule over an everlasting kingdom. He would be the Son of David, King of Israel.

• Isaiah: Isa 33:17Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;

• Daniel: Dan 7:13-14“I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

• Jeremiah: Jer. 23:5Behold, 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 judgment and righteousness in the earth.

• Zechariah spoke of the “Branch”, or Messiah, who would come and reign as both a priest and a King: 6:11-13Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD; Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory. And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”‘

A. “Behold Your King” Zech. 9:9“Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion! Shout, 0 daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation. Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. There are 3 times in scripture when the phrase “Behold Your King” is used to speak of Christ. Each of these passages points us to the character and nature of God’s Kingdom.

It points to the divine appointment of the King – men would not elect or appoint this King. He would come to them in His own time.

It points to the ability and necessity of His subjects to recognize Him when He appears. This phrase was a proclamation of expectation. Israel was called upon to see Jesus for who He is. Matthew Henry calls the use of the term “BEHOLD” here as “a note commanding both attention and admiration”.

1. Zechariah’s prophecy was unanimously applied to the coming Messiah by the Jews. In the time in which this was first spoken, Zechariah was attempting to revive the confidence of a depressed people who were out of touch with their God. They had suffered much because of the cowardly, ungodly and inept leadership of their own appointed kings.

2. But God would send them a new King – “Your King is coming” – they were to be certain of it and put their confidence in God.

3. What type of King was coming? He would be “just and having salvation”; the word just here means according to the rules of equity or justice. He will not play favorites. He would be fair and righteous. He would bring salvation with Him.

4. How would this King Come?“Lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah’s words here might have perplexed some of the Jews. This was not, nor had it ever been, the usual manner for Kings to appear. Horses were the preferred transportation of royalty, especially if they were victorious conquerors.

II. The Arrival of the King: When we open our New Testaments and begin to read we are introduced to Jesus the King at His birth. The wise men come from the east and they inquired “Where is He that is born king of the Jews. We have come to worship Him” (Matt.2:2). Herod is concerned that this One who is born a King would take away his place, so he engineers the massacre of innocent children in Bethlehem. So His very introduction to the world is as King.

A. Again, in the same setting of His birth Mary is called to accept the idea of His unique birth. Luke 1:31-33And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” He is the One the Jews have been looking for all through the Old Testament. He is called in ancient times Shiloh, the anticipated anointed One, the Messiah. He will be the Son of the Highest and He will rule on the throne of His father, David.

B. Later, as Jesus is gathering His first disciples: John 1:45-46Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” … After Jesus miraculously told Nathaniel things He could not have known Nathaniel makes the first great confession of John’s gospel… in v. 49 – “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

III. The Reception of the King: Fast forward to the last week of Jesus life… Matthew 21:1-5“Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” 4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you. Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.'”

A. This is the second time the phrase “Behold Your King” is found in scripture. It is the account of Jesus’ fulfillment of Zechariah’s inspired words. All four of the evangelists record the glorious entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. The King coming to city of His people five days before His death. Jesus was going to Jerusalem to fulfill the Passover feast. It was the day reserved in the feast for taking up of the Paschal lamb that would be sacrificed. Jesus was being set apart for that service. Mary had anointed his feet the night before in preparation of His death. (John 12:3)

B. Zechariah had commanded Israel to rejoice at the coming of their King. Now 500 years later they are fulfilling that command. Matt 21:9 – Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” Their celebration was fit for a King. They placed their clothes & palm branches on road before Him. The term “Hosanna” means “save now” as a pica for present help. It is clear that they expected Jesus to inaugurate His kingdom. Surely these folks would recognize their King and submit themselves to His rule. Mark adds that they shouted. Blessed be the Kingdom of our Father David” indicating that they saw Jesus as the promised King of David’s restored Kingdom. There was so much commotion that the Pharisees try to get Jesus to calm things down. “And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples. ” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

C. But the manner in which Jesus was riding into town was indicative of the problem that was ahead. He was not riding a regal horse, but a lowly donkey – and not even a full-grown donkey, but a baby donkey – a colt! How could a conquering King demand subjection and declare His sovereignty by riding on a donkey? Who would accept such a King?The fulfilling of the prophecy was subservient to striking picture Of Jesus’ Kingship.

1. Jesus was not riding above the people, but below them, easily accessible even to the lowliest.

2. Jesus was not coming to advance his kingdom through power, but suffering. He would choose another road besides politics. The only thing indicative of more humility than the manner of his entry into the city would be his manner of exiting the city just days ahead.

IV. The Rejection of the King: Five days later, the Jewish leaders arrested Jesus in the middle of the night. They tried and convicted Him for blasphemy in a bogus Jewish court. He was presented to Pilate, the Roman Governor. What was the charge?

A. Jesus was accused of being a King! John 18:29-37Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” 31 Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” 32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die. 33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “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. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.

1. John 19:14-16“Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. There are times when God allowed unbelievers to speak prophetic or truthfully significant words without their knowledge of the importance of what they were saying. (Caiaphas prophesied that it was expedient that one man should die (Jesus) in order to save the nation of Israel – John 11.) Here Pilate speaks the words of Zechariah’s prophecy that had just days before been fulfilled before the whole city. When these words were first used, Zechariah was not only announcing the coming of the King, but commanding the nation to recognize Him and rejoice at His coming. There was no greater event to which Israel to look forward. It seemed just a few days before that Jerusalem was ready to receive the King, and proclaim their subjection.

2. But the cry of “blessed is He who has come in the name of the Lord” has turned to “Away with Him, Away with Him” – The “Hosannas” have turned to “crucify Him, crucify Him”.

3. Wycliffe writes… “Whatever moved Pilate to make this final presentation (probably scorn for the Jews – such a king for such a people!), it was providentially used to draw from the lips of the Jews a complete repudiation of their Messianic hope – We have no king but Caesar. If language means anything, the very sovereignty of God over the nation was repudiated. Who was guilty of blasphemy now?” (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

4. The scourging and mockery of the pagan soldiers ironically focused on the Kingship of Jesus. Matt 27:27-31Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. 28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.

V. The Death of the King: Golgotha was the last place Israel expected to find their long sought-after King. Luke 23:35-37And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” He did not save Himself. In refusing to come down from the cross He saved those who would submit to Him as their King. On Sunday (three days later) He emerged from His grave and completely subdued His enemies.

VI. The Victory of the King: Following the crucifixion of Jesus, many Jews may have been perplexed and wondered what became of the King of Israel who was to come from the seed of David. At the feast of Pentecost, 50 days following Jesus’ death, Peter spoke the answer. Acts 2:29-36“Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”‘ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 3000 Jews came into the Kingdom that day, submitting to the words of their King by repenting and being baptized for the remission of their sins.

A. Is Jesus your King? How do you view Him? Consider John’s image in the last book of the Bible… Rev 19:11-1611 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. He is not only a King, not simply the king in the lineage of David, but He is the King of kings. He is a King over all of them. His rule is extended in its majesty over all. There is no challenger to His rule.

Conclusion: The greatest national tragedy of Israel was the day they failed to recognize their King. Yet, it was the events that flowed from that day that would save Israel. People from every nation would receive the King. He would rule with justice and righteousness, and bring salvation with Him. Are you willing to submit to your King? We shall see the King someday. Are you ready to meet Him?