Jesus Christ is what most Bibles say but a better translation would be Jesus the Christ. ‘Christ’ being the greek word for ‘Messiah’ and Messiah means “anointed one” or “king.”
So, what does it actually mean to call Jesus “king”? Well, for Paul as a Roman citizen it was sedition bc according to Rome “there was no king but Caesar” and declaring anyone else as king could get you killed. When a Roman man called Jesus “king” he meant that Caesar was no longer lord but instead, he belonged to another, Jesus. And as Dwight Pryor says “according to Rome, you can have any god you want but there can only be one lord – Caesar.”
It was not easy to declare Jesus ‘King’ in the 1st cent. It could easily get you killed. It’s one of the reasons Jesus was put to death by Rome.
But what about for the Jews, bc Paul was first and foremost Jewish. Well, for a Jewish man to call Jesus the king meant not only flying in the face of Rome but also declaring to your fellow Jewish brethren that the Messiah, the anointed one of God, the man who was to come and lead Israel to peace, and bring the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel was this man Jesus.
And yes He did amazing miracles and taught like no other Rabbi you ever heard but He also happened to be crucified by the very people He was suppose to set you free from!
It is amazing this small sect of people who believed in Jesus and called Him Lord and King ever survived bc there was no reason for them to continue sharing about their crucified Messiah…
… Except for His resurrection. That changed everything.
Today when we call Jesus “king” or actually when we say Jesus Christ, we are
– declaring that He is the Messiah of Israel, the Anointed One of the God of Israel who will fulfill and cause the fulfillment of all of God’s promises to Israel.
– acknowledging that He is the Lord of the nations whether they recognize Him or not. There is a King and one day they will answer to Him.
– stating that not only was He crucified but He has also been resurrected by God and He is now sitting at the right hand of the Throne of God and is continuing to reign over Israel and the nations.
Bc Jesus is the King
Simple words yet profound truths and we have not even begun to plumb their depths. May we begin to understand what it means to call Jesus the King. May our lives be transformed by His Kingship and may we begin to bring to His kingdom as we live for the King.