It’s Inauguration Day.
Two weeks ago we saw thousands descend on Washington D.C. and storm the U.S. Capitol in what has been called members of Congress as an “insurrection”. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the final days of the previous President’s term were marked by violence, deceit, and rebellion — as Paul wrote to the Galatians, you reap what you sow.
But today our country introduces President Joe Biden to the world. It’s a day of pomp and circumstance and a lot of showy celebration…
It’s an inauguration.
Centuries ago, inaugurations were reserved mostly for kings. It was the day that a king or a royal family was introduced as the ruling party, not by democratic vote but by conquest or birthright or divine proclamation.
Joe Biden is being inaugurated today as our President. And some time in the next few years he will be replaced by another President at another inauguration — just as it did for kings and queens of the past.
But we serve Jesus, who is also a king and was described as such (even by Himself) at key points throughout His life:
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?”
— Matthew 2:2
““You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world.”
— John 18:37
“...he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords…”
— 1 Timothy 6:15
So the answer to the question of why we call Jesus king is simple — because He is!
But what is so meaningful about Jesus being king? And what does it mean for our lives today?
Why it’s important Jesus is king
I’d go so far as to say Jesus being king isn’t just good news, but it’s essential to the good news.
Throughout history, the Israelites prophesied that the Messiah would be revealed as the promised Savior-King:a man who would liberate His people, govern them with justice, and lead from the throne of David. Jesus being king fulfills thousands of years of promises and predictions. The confirmation of God being right all along is the completed work of proving we can trust Him.
This isn’t just some metaphor inspiring us to look at Christ as though He was a king.
He is a king.
Does this mean anything for me today?
Well, how would you treat a king? Answer that and you’ll likely have your next steps.
Faith. It is by faith that we are saved. If you believe in the good news that Jesus has come to save us from sin’s punishment and open the way for an eternal relationship with the Father… well, that’s faith. You now belong to Jesus and to His people. And unlike earthly kings who establish their reign through violence or politics, Jesus set up His kingdom by obeying God and serving us to the point of death on a cross.
Obedience. Here’s the thing about kings — they’re picky about that whole obedience thing. Following a king’s commands is an act of service. You’re helping him accomplish his goals. It’s also an outward sign of respect to others. You’re communicating to everyone else watching how you think they should treat him.
Citizenship. Seeing yourself as a member of Jesus’ kingdom should affect everything about you. His commands don’t end at a border or some other imaginary line. Why? Because his kingdom doesn’t either. As long as you’re a citizen of Jesus’ kingdom, and as long as His kingdom extends all across the globe, his laws still apply.
What about Joe Biden?
Ah, yes. Today’s inauguration. Jesus is king, who cares about Joe Biden being inaugurated as President, right?
Not so fast, my friend.
Jesus is our perfect king. We wait for His inauguration with great expectancy. (It’s even the final words of the Bible!) But that doesn’t get us off the hook with a lesser submission to our new President.
Jesus told us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.
Paul told us to submit to governing authorities.
Peter told us to submit to every authority.
These were not idle words in a specific context — they are commands given by church leaders all over the globe to the first generations of Christians. It is a lesser submission, yes. There may come a day when following Jesus means openly disobeying a ruling authority. But that day isn’t as close as you might think.
Until then, we have our marching orders from King Jesus.
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