News of war in foreign lands appears on our television screens every night. Online, we are informed of the latest political scandal and the opposition’s jockeying to take advantage of it. In the newspapers, the headlines warn of impending economic doom or the spread of some deadly disease. Our fallen world can be a scary place, and there seems to be no end to the bad news headed our way.
Such problems make us long for a wise king, do they not? They make us hope for one who can address the root causes of these issues, defeat our enemies, and protect us from every danger. The Bible tells us of such a king—Jesus the Messiah.
In revealing to us the person and work of Christ, Scripture tells us that Jesus is not only our Prophet and High Priest but also our King. As we see in today’s passage, Christ is “Lord of lords and King of kings,” and He will defeat all of His foes (Rev. 17:14). This is such an important truth for us to remember as we live in this fallen world. So often, we experience seeming defeat in our battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. But the good news of the gospel tells us that these defeats are only temporary, for Christ has ascended to the right hand of God the Father and has been given the name above all names (Acts 2:33; Phil. 2:5–11). He is the omnipotent ruler of His people, and He cannot fail to bring us the final victory. Hope for the Christian is never lost, for we serve One who “must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Cor. 15:25), and He will not fail to conquer them all.
Christ, indeed, is King of His people. But His authority is not only over His servants in the church. Because He is “King of kings” (Rev. 17:14), He also sits enthroned over all rulers, which means that their subjects must ultimately bow to Him. As those who have been commissioned to preach the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 24:14), our job is to announce the reality of Christ’s present reign and to call people to bow down to Jesus as the sovereign over all. And all people will b0w down—some willingly, because He has given them new hearts, and some by force as He compels them to bend the knee before sending them to eternal judgment (Ps. 2).
“Christ executes the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies” (WSC 26). He subdues our stony hearts and makes us willing subjects of His kingdom—a kingdom that will never end because He is conquering all of its enemies.