From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Seven, Day One
The world has never seen a king like Christ, a ruler mightier than any earthly sovereign and more powerful than the unseen powers of the universe. Though he entered the world humbly, as an infant born in Bethlehem, Magi from the east still recognized him as the newborn king. Though his reign unfolds in hidden ways, he has promised to come again, at which time he will reveal himself unambiguously as "King of kings and Lord of lords." When you pray to Jesus, the King of kings, call to mind his mastery not only over human beings but over nature, disease, and death itself.
On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. Revelation 19:16
His Name Revealed
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
"Say to the Daughter of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' "
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" Matthew 21:1 - 9
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. Revelation 19:11 - 16
Lord, my all-powerful King, I praise you for your humility. Help me to seek first your kingdom, forsaking my desire to build my own small kingdom. Infuse me with the values of your kingdom. Help me to love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, serve the poor, and spread the good news of the kingdom everywhere I go.
Understanding the Name
The Jewish people at the time of Christ longed for a coming king who would be descended from their great king, David. By hailing Jesus as the "Son of David," the large crowd who greeted him as he entered Jerusalem was using a popular title for the Messiah. They expected their messianic king to restore Israel's freedom and former glory. In the passage from Matthew's Gospel, Jesus fulfills the messianic prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, an animal that symbolized both peace and humility.
Today, Christ's kingdom unfolds in hidden ways as believers acknowledge him as King and Lord. But one day, when Christ comes again, his will be revealed as the greatest of all kingdoms. The passage from Revelation 19 presents Jesus riding not on a lowly donkey but on a magnificent white horse, as befits the greatest of all kings. Throughout the New Testament Jesus is variously referred to as "King," "King of the ages," "King of the Jews," "King of Israel," and "King of kings" — this last one translated from the Greek phrase Basileus Basileon (bas-si- LEUS ba-si-LE-own). Even today some Christian churches are called "basilicas," a phrase meaning "the hall of the king."
Studying the Name
- Why do you think Scripture presents the reign of Jesus in two such different ways, as in the above passages?
- Write a list of qualities that would describe the perfect king. Now compare and contrast these with the lives of today's rulers.
- What do you think it means to have Jesus as your king? How have you experienced his reign in your life thus far?
- What would life on earth look like today if Jesus' reign was perfectly established?