The idea of electing your leader through the ballot box is a relatively new phenomenon. For centuries Kings have been chosen or gained power through various means. Many successions have been peaceful, but some have been through a coup of some sort. The way I figure it, there are 5 general ways to become a King. And it just so happens that Jesus fulfills all 5 of them. Thus He gets the super-title of King of kings and Lord of lords. Let’s look briefly at each of these claims to kingship and then ultimately what that means in our lives.
1) Hereditary Claim
Jesus has a claim to the throne of David. He’s his Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great-Grandson. In fact Jesus has a claim both biologically through Mary’s family and familiarly through His step-dad Joseph. The last King in David’s line was Zedekiah. Babylon came in and destroyed Jerusalem because of the Jews disobedience and they took a few thousand into captivity, including Zedekiah and his family. Thus the bloodline remained in-tact for a future man to claim. (Now, full-disclosure, the Mormons believe Zedekiah’s son traveled to America, slept with a whole bunch of Native Americans, created 2 new tribes of Israel, and built 2 giant golden cities like the oft forgotten Disney movie The Road to El Dorado. But seeing that there is no biological, cultural, or archeological evidence to this… and that fact that Joseph Smith wrote this while in an insane asylum, I think it’s safe that he totally made it up.)
2) Prophetic Claim
Lots of cultures have prophetic claims for their throne. Whether Sword in the Stone type prophecies or in pagan societies where the chosen-one is born on the 7th month on the 7th day and is the 7th son of a 7th son. Jesus certainly holds some prophetic claims. In fact He can stake claim to over 300 different prophecies. He was born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, moved to Egypt, rode into Jerusalem on a baby donkey, was crucified with no bones broken, the soldiers gambled for His clothes, and rose from the dead! (Just to name 7) These Messianic claims as well as the hundreds of others all are prophecies that the Messiah will be the King to end all other kings. Jesus is that and more.
3) Political Claim
We tend to think of political claims as a modern day phenomenon. This isn’t true. Often times, a leader would arise if they were simply the best at something – the fastest, the biggest, the best warrior, the wisest, or the most beloved. The groundswell of support from the masses could be difficult to thwart for any other leader. Even in the Bible itself we see this exemplified. King Saul was selected king by the people because he was the tallest. There was nothing more complicated than that. I’m sure they had thoughts like he’ll be intimidating on the battlefield or perhaps that he must be blessed from God to be so tall. Either way, it seems like a dumb reason to anoint someone your leader because of his height. Then King David became a great warrior and was beloved by the people. The entourage he kept would have made it likely that he could have become king over Israel whenever he wanted. He refused to overthrow Saul on personal conviction, not because he couldn’t have taken in sooner with the support of the nation behind him. So how does Jesus stake this claim? Easy. He is the best at everything! He is the G.O.A.T. Greatest. Of. All. Time. If you do a side-by-side comparison of all other people with Jesus; He absolutely wrecks them. I don’t care what the competition is. Who’s the fastest? Jesus, He can teleport. Who can jump the highest? Jesus, He can fly. Who would win Jeopardy? Jesus said before Alex Trebek was “I Am” (or something like that.) Who would win the Bachelor? Jesus IS love! No contest, He would win on the opening rose ceremony and they’d skip all the way to the After the Rose Reunion special hosted by Chris Harrison. It doesn’t matter the contest, the rules, or the qualifications, Jesus would absolutely destroy His competition. He is the greatest representative possible. He is the God/Man. He cannot lose.
4) Financial Claim
Really rich folks can just buy land and declare themselves whatever they want. This happened a lot in the Middle Ages. Kings needed money for wars so they’d sell off pieces of their kingdom for lords to declare themselves kings. Just recently a man from Virginia bought uninhabited land in the Sahara desert between Egypt and Sudan. He declared himself king because his “poor” daughter wanted to be a princess so bad. He made her wish come true (yeah, that’s not going to bite him in the butt.) The one thing we don’t relate to Jesus much is how rich He is. Sure He has the whole world in His hands, but that’s not the direction I’m going with this one. The most valuable thing in the world is eternal life. There is no dollar amount that people would not pay to guarantee themselves life eternal. Jesus has the most valuable commodity in the world. His shed blood purchased eternal life for untold millions of people. He’s the only one that has it, and thus the wealthiest person in the history of the world. Apple Co. might be trading high on the markets, but dozens of companies (try to) copy what they do. No one can even come close. People spend thousands to doctors and on treatments to extend their lives a few years. Jesus offers life eternal. But Jesus doesn’t want anything as useless as money, gold, or silver. He is building a Kingdom that is not of this world. His followers have made-up a spiritual Kingdom that He has reigned over for thousands of years now. All purchased with His perfect, precious blood.
5) Military Claim
This one is last on the list because in many ways He hasn’t fully grabbed hold of this claim yet. He is ready. There’s nothing more Jesus has to do to fully stake his military claim on the earth, but He is patiently waiting. He does not want you to be on the wrong side of this battlefield, so He waits, giving you more time. For if you are on the wrong side of this battle there are eternal consequences. You will experience total death in every sense of the word. But God is patient and does not want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance. Be sure, He is coming!
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ” KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Rev 19:11-16)
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