• Joseph Durso

A King Not of this World

The Way of the Cross is for All who Follow Jesus

In the Movie First Night, King Arthur tells Lancelot that the Knights of Camelot sit at a round table without head or foot. All are equal, even the king. Inscribed on the Table are the words, In serving each other, we become free. A Night in Arthur's kingdom, supposedly, did not enter a life of privilege but of service.

The person who partakes of authentic Christianity is born again into a kingdom where all are called to serve. The king also serves but unlike all others. God became a man, but first, He is and will always be the eternal God. My dear readers, please pause and try to contemplate life without a beginning. Now consider that Jesus Christ served like no other; He paid an eternal price to rescue His enemies from His anger against sin.

The Supremacy of Jesus as King

When Paul ran down a litany of evils that exist in the human heart, he left for last the one that should stick in our minds, "There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:18). During the previous two centuries, liberal theologians have pushed the love of God to the exclusion of the justice and wrath of God. As a result, justice has fallen to the wayside in human societies. Sinful men do not show the proper respect that all men deserve. All men deserve respect for the dignity of their creator because God made us in His image. (Genesis 1:26)

In John 18, Jesus is brought by the jealousy of the Jewish leaders before Pilate, who asks Jesus sarcastically, "You are the king of the Jews?" At first glance, Jesus was something of a poor farce, a waste of his time. When Jesus asked him if that was what he believed, as if to reveal the falsehood behind his sarcasm, Pilate answered him with more hateful innuendo, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me; what have You done?"

Then comes the answer that turns the world on its egotistical head and proclaims the one true kingdom to come. "Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." Nevertheless, Pilate wasn't going to get the truth nor the eternal person standing before him. Undoubtedly ready to bring the hammer down upon Him, even with his wife's warning ringing in his ears, he said to Jesus, "So You are a king?"

Jesus is always the witness to the truth, prepared to share the reality of His coming kingdom, helping everyone to prepare, He said to him. "You say correctly that I am a king. For this purpose, I have been born, and for this, I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice." Pilate answered with "What is truth?" The truth was standing directly in front of him. Jesus could not have been more direct or clear, "for this I have been born," Furthermore, He said. "... for this purpose, I have come into the world." He declared to Pilate His eternal existence. To make sure there was no mistake in His words, He proclaimed them to be the truth.

When Jesus said, "I am a king, he used the word, Eimí (the basic Greek verb which expresses being, i.e. "to be." Eimí its counterparts, (properly) convey "straight-forward" being (existence without explicit limits). Eimí is aptly used in Christ's great "I am" and includes His eternality (self-existent life). For example, Jn. 14:6: "I am (eimí) the way, the truth, and the life." Here eimí naturally accords with the fact Christ is eternal." The "I am formula Greek ergo "eimi" harks back to God's personal name, "Yahovah" (OT "the LORD") – meaning "He who is, was, and always will be."

God has recorded for all the world to see what transpires between an earthly king and God Almighty. All the world will be judged by the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

"For when Gentiles who do not have the Law instinctively perform the requirements of the Law, these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of mankind through Christ Jesus." (Romans 2:14-16)

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Gospel Light I agree with the Westminister Shorter Catechism, which begins by asking the question. What is the chief end of man? And the answer given is simply this: Man's chief end is to glorify God