Is Jesus King of All of Us?

Reposted, with permission, from Randy White Ministries.

Question: Is Jesus the King for all of us or only for Israel? – Bob, Minnesota

Dr. White’s Answer …

First, let’s take a look at the Scripture.

At the beginning of Jesus’ life, He was called King of the Jews.

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (KJV, Matthew 2:2)

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He was called the King of Israel.

Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (John 1:49)

At the crucifixion, Jesus was called King of the Jews.

Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. (John 19:21)

Paul praises Jesus as the King eternal.

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

Paul said that Jesus will someday be presented as King of kings.

That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (1 Timothy 6:14–15)

John revealed that Jesus would be King of kings at the Second Coming.

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:16)

From this, we can determine that Jesus has a role as King of the Jews that will be expanded to King of kings.

Someday, Jesus will restore the Kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6) and will sit on the throne of David. When He does that kingdom will break in pieces and shatter all the others (Dan. 2:40).

But what about today?

Today, I don’t see how we can rightly and literally call Jesus King of anything.

  • He is not King of Israel. The modern nation of Israel has a Prime Minister and a Parliament, but no King. If the nation adopted a monarchy today, it would not offer Jesus the throne.
  • He is not King of any other nation. Even the United Kingdom, in which the Monarch is supreme governor of the church, there isn’t even a way to spiritualize enough to make Jesus the King of the UK government.

The truth is, Jesus has no throne (He is at the right hand of the throne of His Father). He has no realm, no palace, no administration, no recognition as sovereign. He certainly has not broken in pieces and shattered all other Kingdoms, as promised in Daniel 2.

When “King Michael” of Romania died in 2017, he wasn’t King of anything, and hadn’t been since 1947. Even if people called him King, he wasn’t. He had no throne, no palace, no realm, no court, no authority.

As a stickler for words, I personally don’t see any reason why we should call Jesus King today. What is He King of?

  • You can argue that He is King of your life or King of your heart, but that is just semantics and there is never this kind of language of kingship in the Bible.
  • You can argue that He is King of all things, but that ignores the clear fact that He has none of the signs or symbols of Kingship. What you mean is that “God is sovereign,” but what you are saying is, “Jesus is King.” I think you should be precise in your words.
  • You can argue that He should be King (and I agree) and that He will be King (and I also agree). But that doesn’t change reality today.

In the end, I don’t feel any need to spiritualize the Kingship of Jesus Christ. I want to keep King for what it actually means: the sovereign ruler of a realm. Jesus will be the sovereign ruler of the realm of Israel (in its full measure). He will be this King when the Jewish nation cries out to Him, saying, “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt. 23:39).

Until then, Jesus is can be seen in a parable which Jesus gave…

He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. (Luke 19:12)

Jesus has left us. He will return to earth someday. When He does, He will be King.

Will He be King of the Jews? Yes, primarily so. As King of the Jews, He will break in pieces and shatter all others, and thus will be King of Kings and Lord of lords!

— and that will be a great day.

Randy White bio

Randy White Ministries began in 2011 as an online and radio Bible teaching ministry. Today, the ministry is focused on producing verse-by-verse Bible teaching resources for individuals. White has 25 years of pastoral experience—including 12 years at First Baptist Church of Katy, Texas, where he ministered to a large congregation and preached numerous times each week.

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There are 5 Comments

Andrew K's picture

Sorry, I'm going to go with the early African-American theologians:

"Ride on King Jesus,
No man can a-hinder thee."

Aaron Blumer's picture

Some good points in the article, and it can't be bad to draw people's attention to what the Scriptures actually say. Agree too, that there is no need to spiritualize Christ's Kingship. Where I stop short of White's conclusion is this: In His character and authority Jesus is already everything He is going to be. It isn't implemented yet, but there is a difference between decided and implemented. I see no need to delay acknowledging who He is until His position is implemented.

On the other hand, the NT focus and language is clearly on His character as Lord, which emphasizes both authority and deity. "King" adds the geopolitical dimension.

So my view is that the NT language is best, but there is also nothing wrong with acknowledging His kingly character ahead of His actual reign.

Steve Davis's picture

White says: "Today, I don’t see how we can rightly and literally call Jesus King of anything." This is nonsense and denies what the Bible clearly teaches. Jesus has always and will ever be King regardless of the manner of its manifestation and future fullness. 

I fail to see how anyone can read Peter's Acts 2 sermon and deny that Jesus is presently king. 

Peter connects the kingship of Jesus with His resurrection - 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, ...

Jesus is exalted to the right hand of God and exercises kingly authority- this is kingship. Call it co-reigning if you will. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 

Jesus has a people, authority and dominion/realm over which He reigns - the Church. 

Ron Bean's picture

My first thought was of the "Not My President" bumper stickers I see.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

TylerR's picture

This is the divide between classical dispensationalism and the more modern flavors. Bro. White sees a very hard discontinuity between the Old and New Covenants. I also believe he'd deny the NC is in effect today, in any form. I could be wrong and, if I am, I apologize.

For myself, Jesus' millennial reign as King of Israel is clearly future. But, He is clearly exercising Lordship and Kingly functions now. Jesus is Lord of all (Acts 10) and He's always upheld all creation by the word of His power (Heb 1). And, to piggyback on Steve's citation of Acts 2, Paul ties a fulfillment of the Messianic King's coronation in Psalm 2 to Jesus' resurrection (Acts 13:30ff).  

Tyler Robbins is a pastor at Sleater-Kinney Road Baptist, in Olympia, WA, and an Investigations Manager with the State of Washington. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

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