When we read Scripture, we’ll notice many different ways Jesus is described. Some have to do with His nature (who He is), and some have to do with His ministry (what He does). To understand the depth of Jesus’ life and ministry, we have to understand many things about Him. We have to understand that He is fully God and yet fully man; He is the God who can forgive sins, and the man who shed His blood to cover them. He is a priest, standing as mediator between God the Father and His sinful people. He is also a prophet, who speaks on behalf of God and embodies His message of both grace and judgment. And in today’s reading, we see that Jesus is also a king.
He is not king in the way the people laying down their palms and coats might have imagined—a political hero or a military leader. But make no mistake: He is King.
Now, when we think of kings, we often think of corrupt leaders. We tend to be wary of power because, as Lord Acton said, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” There is no such thing as a perfect earthly king or ruler, president or prime minister. In our passage today, Jesus is mentioned in the same breath as King David. We all know the faults of David, most notably that he was a murderer and adulterer. Even so, in all his imperfection, he was a man “after God’s own heart,” whose bloodline would one day produce the True King (1 Samuel 13:14; 2 Samuel 7). David wasn’t perfect, but God would send a perfect King from David’s family line.
King Jesus is the King who can never be corrupted, because He is the only man who lived and died without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). While other kings barter over possessions and land and military might, our King owns all things and is eternally undefeated. Even His death on a cross was not a defeat, but a cosmic victory over His greatest enemies: sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Our passage today reminds us that Jesus is the rightful King of the world and of our hearts. He does not make deals with the devil, but rather stomps his head (Genesis 3:15; Matthew 4:1-11). Praise God that King Jesus is not only a powerful and perfect ruler, but also a kind and humble King who invites His children to come to Him. May we, with childlike faith, embrace our King, trusting Him to grant us His life-giving grace and protect us from life-stealing sin.
Written by Brandon D. Smith