Jesus the King


During this season of Lent, The Table has been considering the offices of Jesus (prophet, priest, and king). We have been dialoging w/ the Reformed theologian Louis Berkhof and his thoughts on the mater found in his work Manual of Christian Doctrine. 

As we turn our attention to Jesus’ office of king, Berkhof asserts that Jesus’ Kingship is two-fold; He is King over the spiritual and physical realm. Regarding his Spiritual Kingship, Berkhof says, “[This Kingship] is established in the hearts and minds of believers, bears directly and immediately on a spiritual end, the salvation of sinners, and is administered, not by eternal, but by spiritual means, the Word and Spirit.” In this, we think of Jesus’ words in John 18:36, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” Thinking of Jesus’ kingship over creation, Berkhof says, “As King of the universe He now guides the destines of individuals, of social groups, and of nations, so as to promote the growth, the gradual purification, and final perfection of the people which He has redeemed by His blood.” We think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth,” and Paul’s words in Ephesians 1:22, “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.”

As you consider this two-fold kingship (Jesus’ Spiritual Kingship and kingship over creation), notice how these aspects of Jesus’ kingship show up in Matthew 9:1-8:

Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went h
ome. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.

Jesus has authority to forgive debts and power over creation, enabling Him to bring about holistic wellness and justice. As you meditate upon His kingship and this passage, consider these questions:




For additional texts on Jesus’ kingship consider:

-Psalm 45:6, 7, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. 7 You love justice and hate evil. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”

-Isaiah 9:6, 7, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”

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