December 2012 - Vol.  64

Rooted in the Word

Jesus: A Portrait of Kingship

by Jeanne Kun

Under the old covenant, God commissioned anointed kings to rule over Israel and Judah. David—whose dynasty God promised to establish forever—was Israel’s greatest king, the model and prototype for all future kings. Under the new covenant, God commissioned the Lord Jesus, his own Son as well as a descendant of David, as his anointed king. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand,” Jesus announced as he took up the mission entrusted to him by the Father (Mark 1:15).

We commonly understand a kingdom to be a territory or country ruled by a king. However, when Jesus spoke of the “kingdom of God,” he was not referring to a piece of land, but to the rule of God. Thus, the “kingdom” that Jesus proclaimed in the gospels is better understood as the reign or the kingship and authority exercised by God over his people.

Jesus’ ministry and deeds reflect the way in which he would rule as king. His teachings help us understand the nature of his kingdom: “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Mark 10:15); “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Jesus also unfolded the truths and mysteries of the kingdom through his parables: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened” (Matthew 13:33); “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field” (13:44).

At the end of the ages, Jesus will come again to establish the full reign of God over the human race—and then we will hear “loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever’” (Revelation 11:15)!

Read and prayerfully reflect on these additional Scripture passages to enhance your understanding of Jesus’ kingship and of the kingdom of God: 

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My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
  I address my verses to the king;
  my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
You are the fairest of the sons of men;
  grace is poured upon your lips;
  therefore God has blessed you for ever.
Gird your sword upon your thigh,
   O mighty one,
  in your glory and majesty!
In your majesty ride forth victoriously
  for the cause of truth and to defend the right;
  let your right hand teach you dread deeds!
Your arrows are sharp
  in the heart of the king’s enemies;
  the peoples fall under you.
Your divine throne endures for ever and ever.
  Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
  you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
  with the oil of gladness above your fellows
 (Psalm 45:1-7)

These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, . . . “Preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.” 
(Matthew 10:5, 7-8)

[Jesus said:] “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’” 
(Matthew 25:31-34)

[Jesus said:] “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” 
(Mark 4:30-32)

I [John] heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!” 
(Revelation 5:13)


Jeanne Kun is a noted author and a senior womens' leader in the Word of Life Community, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Excerpt from God's Promises Fulfilled, The Word Among Us Press, Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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