For the last two articles we have looked at the priestly and prophetic offices of Christ. Today we look a little at the last major office of Christ which is his kingship.
Firstly, we must understand that Jesus’ kingdom is not an earthly kingdom in this world. Jesus resisted his fellow Jews when they tried to make him their earthly king: ‘Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself’ (John 6:15). Also when he is speaking to Pilate Jesus states explicitly that his kingdom is not of this world: ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place’ (John 18:36).
Instead, Jesus is a spiritual kingdom that is in the hearts of his citizens: “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21).
Secondly we must also understand that Jesus’ kingdom is not made up of every human being. There is a sense in which Jesus is king over everyone simply because he is God. The Bible is clear that God rules over everything. Thus, if Jesus is God then he logically rules over all. But Jesus is also described as being a king in his humanity. There is a kingship that Jesus has as both God and man and it does not include everyone.
Instead, Jesus’ kingdom is made up of those who belong to his church. Jesus is repeatedly called the head of the church which is one who has a kingly authority: ‘And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy’ (Colossians 1:18).
So who belongs to Jesus’ spiritual kingdom? Because of sin, everyone is automatically excluded from the Kingdom. Jesus is a wise and just king and he will not allow rebels to be a part of the kingdom. But for those who are willing to repent of their rebellion against the king, Jesus pays the death penalty for them. He did this at the cross. Therefore you can be included in the kingdom and have Jesus as your King. However, you must repent and believe in the King’s sacrifice on the cross for you. Is Jesus your king? Have you repented of your rebellion against the king and trusted in his payment for your rebellion?