This past Sunday, many Christian churches around the world celebrated the feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Using Matthew’s Gospel as a reference, what does Jesus being King mean for our lives? We read in the very first verse, Jesus Christ is the son of David and the son of Abraham. Jesus is the royal Messiah (1:16) and the son of Israel in whose “descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing” (Gen 22:18). “ ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’, which means God is with us” (1:23). God fulfilled his promise to send the Messiah who would die for our sins, restore our fellowship with God, and make available eternal salvation to those who follow him. At the commissioning of his disciples Jesus told them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been to me” (28:18) and keeping with meaning of Emmanuel, Jesus assured them and us “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (28:20).
In the United States of America, our birth as a nation was won through the fight against a king we judged as oppressive and unjust. Today the idea of an earthly king ruling over our lives does not even enter our thoughts. Yet, when Christ the King returns, Matthew tells us he will come “in his glory…he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him” (25:31-32). We have a King whether we believe it or not; whether our lives reflect this reality or not. Let us choose to follow Jesus the King and to intentionally “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…and love your neighbor as yourself” (22:37,39).