JESUS CHRIST IS OUR KING
(A biblical refection on the solemnity of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, UNIVERSAL KING – Sunday, 22 November 2015)
Gospel Reading: John 18:33-37
First Reading: Daniel 7:13-14; Psalms: Psalm 93:1-2,5; Second Reading: Revelation 1:5-8
Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed You over to me; what have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if My kingship were of this world, My servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but My kingship is not from the world.” Pilate said to Him, “So you are a King?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a King. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:33-37 RSV)
Sometimes historical and political situations have influenced the ways we, Christians, picture Jesus. Thus, when monarchs ruled nations and empires, the popular image people had of Jesus was that of the King of Kings, and image that reminded them that Jesus ruled the universe.
This emphasis on Jesus as a Divine Ruler eventually led the Church to designate the last Sunday of the liturgical year (that’s today) as the Solemnity of Christ the King. Like the other images of Jesus, this image also has biblical support.
In today’s Gospel, Pilate asks Jesus if He is a king and Jesus’ response is that He is indeed a ruler but His Kingdom is not of this world. Elsewhere in the Bible, Jesus tells a parable in which He refers to Himself as a king who separates the good from the bad (Matthew 25:31-46) and, when He rides into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey (Luke 19:28-40), the people treat Him as if He is a royalty. These are only a few examples of passages that speak of Jesus’ kingship.
In biblical times, as today, it was a great honor to be in the presence of the king because he did not give everyone this privilege, and he granted even fewer individuals an audience with him. As the king entered the room, all present bowed their heads and fell to their knees, acknowledging him as their lord and master. Without a sound from anyone, the king then ascended his throne and began to discharge his royal duties.
Because Jesus has become so familiar to us, we sometimes forget that He is our King and we don’t always appreciate how privileged we are to be guaranteed an audience with our King whenever we want one. Unlike earthly kings, we can confidently bring our needs before Jesus’ heavenly throne, knowing He will listen to us and will not turn us away. No earthly king would ever be so accessible to his subjects.
Kings are sometimes addressed as “my lord”. What does the word “lord” mean? What do we mean when we call Jesus “our Lord and Master”? Is Jesus really Lord of your life?
Short Prayer: Jesus Christ, King of heaven and earth, I adore You as my King! I am thankful that You protect me, care for me, and hear me when I call to You. Grant me Your goodness and mercy all the days of my life. May I dwell with You in Your Kingdom forever. Amen.
Jakarta, 20 November 2015
A Christian Pilgrim