I love how one old preacher described Jesus in 'That's My King!' As we read the Gospels, one title rings loud and clear – that of King. The first disciples saw Jesus as Israel’s long awaited King.
Matthew’s dominating idea for his Gospel is presenting Jesus as King. He continually shows the royalty of Jesus. Right at the beginning the genealogy is presented in order to prove that Jesus is the Son of David (Matthew 1:1–17). The title, Son of David, is used more frequently in Matthew than in any other gospel (see Matthew 15:22; 21:9; 21:15).
The wise men came looking for him who is "King of the Jews" (Matthew 2:2). The triumphal entry wass a deliberately dramatized claim to be King (Matthew 21:1–11), fulfilling prophecies from Isaiah 62:11 and Isaiah 9:9. Before Pilate, Jesus deliberately accepted the name of "King of the Jews" (Matthew 27:11). Even on the Cross, the title of "King of the Jews" was affixed, though in mockery, over his head (Matthew 27:37). However, Jesus was a King of a different kind. His message was of God’s kingdom come, yet realised through a cross on which he would die.
After the resurrection of Jesus, his followers saw Him as not just Israel’s promised King and Messiah but also as the King who was sovereign over the entire world, including Caesar (Acts 17:5-7). The early church declared Jesus as King over all kings both now and in his return (1 Timothy 6:15. Revelation 19:16). They worshipped Jesus as the Son of God and the King who was and is reigning now. They saw themselves as kings and priests, representing God's rule and work on the earth. They waited expectantly for his return and the full realisation of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven (something they prayed for regularly, as Jesus taught them). They understood Jesus’ message of kingdom and cross (suffering) as something that they would need to embrace in this life too.
If your life could be likened to a car ... is Jesus: nowhere near your car? In the car, but locked in the boot for Sundays, where you stuff him back in for the rest of the week, in case he upsets your ordinary life? In the car, but a back-seat passenger who you don’t pay much attention to? In the car, but a front-seat passenger? … Or is he the driver in your car ... and if so, are you a backseat driver?
How do we know that God is first in our lives? What are the indicators? Consider your relationships, your priorities, your interests, as well as the use of your time and your finances.
General William Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army. Toward the end of his career, he was interviewed by the press. As he looked back over his lifetime, this is what he said: “God had all there was of me. There have been others who had greater plans and greater opportunities than I; but from the day I had a vision of what God could do, I made up my mind that God would have all there was of William Booth.” Does Jesus have all of you?
Being a disciple of Jesus or a “Christian” is not just about having your sins forgiven and knowing that you will go to heaven when you die. It is about living life here and now under new management – under the new leadership of King Jesus. It is seeing Him as the Lord and therefore the Leader of your life. Life is about following Him and partnering with the work he is doing in history as your story contributes to HIS story. Surrender afresh to his loving leadership. He is a leader worth following and he knows best. His desire for your is life to the full (John 10:10).