King of Kings

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth'” (Matthew 28:18).
On Thursday, May 18, 2006, the Nepali House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a law curtailing the power of the King of Nepal. Among other provisions, the title “His Majesty’s Government” was replaced with “Government of Nepal,” the army is now “Army of Nepal” rather than “Royal Army,” and succession of kings is determined by Congress, not heredity. Perhaps even more significant is the declaration of Nepal as a secular state, revoking its former status as a “Hindu Monarchy.” This step erodes the status of King as a “living god” among the Hindu pantheon. It is yet to be determined just how much further this secularization and democratization of Nepal will be taken, or just how much significance these actions will have in the lives of the people of that nation, but certainly these are historic changes.
They also remind us that all things of material and temporal nature are temporary and insubstantial. The Nepali monarchy has lasted for centuries, and one tends to regard it as perpetual, even “eternal.” But, that is not the case. Kings die, or are dethroned, and governments change. That is the nature of matter. “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). Our lives, our work, our possessions, our accomplishments are all transient and will not last.
But not all things are material and temporal. There is an eternal kingdom and a King who reigns forever (Hebrews 12:28; 1 Timothy 1:17). Both God the Father and Jesus the Son are given the titles “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (1 Timothy 6:15,16; Revelation 17:14). Though Jesus came incarnate as God in human form, he is also an eternal Spirit, resurrected and enthroned at God’s right hand (Hebrews 1:3,4; Ephesians 1:20-22). All authority has been given to him, and he has been exalted above all other powers and names (Philippians 2:9). His reign shall end only when all enemies have been defeated and he submits himself once again to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). No other power or force can alter his rule in any way. His reign is not subject to revolt, political or social pressure, or democratic vote. Jesus is King. We are either under his rule or in revolt against him. And that is the way it will be until the end of this world and of time.
Submission to Jesus is not slavery or conquest, however. He invites us to become his people willingly and joyfully. His is a rule of love and of unselfish service, first of his to us, then of ours to him. Our submission is a reciprocation, a grateful paying back of what he has first done for us (Romans 5:8). John says, “By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). Jesus is a king we can love, and whose rule will always bring joy and true freedom. Long live the King!

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