In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Recently we’ve been looking at how Christ is a king. We saw that his kingship is demonstrated by his calling a people to rule over and also by giving officers to his people. This week I want to show that Christ is a king because he gives his people laws.
A component of a king’s job is to put into effect the laws by which his people will be governed. The close association of kingship and law is demonstrated by Isaiah: ‘For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us’ (Isaiah 33:22).
So does Jesus show that he is a lawgiver and thus a king? Yes. Repeatedly in the gospels Jesus himself gives laws to his people and expects them to obey them. If they do not, then Jesus threatens that there are consequences. A good example of Jesus’ kingship in relation to laws would have to be the sermon on the mount where Jesus says to his disciples: ‘You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 5:14-20). Thus we see Jesus teaches his disciples to behave as light in the world by keeping the commandments of God. If they do not keep Jesus’ laws, they demonstrate they are not part of his kingdom. The rest of the sermon provides Jesus’ interpretation of God’s law.
So do you obey Jesus’ commands and demonstrate that he is your king?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.