By Caleb Faires
Jesus demonstrated His authority as the true Son of God, who now rules at the right hand of the Father.
I think a lot about the kingdoms of this earth. When the times get dicey, I have to make a conscious effort to not fixate on the latest headlines. Earthly rulers and magistrates busy themselves trying to establish their own dominion. In fact, we all tend to fixate on our own kingdoms, whether at home, at work, or in society. Perhaps that’s why the declaration of Christ in Matthew 28 comes as a shocking blow—welcome or unwelcome—to our petty worldliness: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).
Christ’s authoritative claim is shocking for three reasons. First, He claims “all authority.” I think a lot of us would be more comfortable if He had just claimed some authority. That would allow us to stake out some space for ourselves. We might hold onto a few quiet minutes of self-indulgence each day, or an occasion to vent our complaints and frustrations. But Christ did not leave even the slightest room for our pride and ambition. As Abraham Kuyper, theologian and former prime minister of the Netherlands, once said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’”
Second, Jesus declares that He already has this authority. While the full establishment of His kingdom is still underway, He is clear that the authority and might, which we like to think still belong to us, “has been given” to Him already. We’re not waiting around for Him to take control—He already has it. His is the one true kingdom, and it is here to stay. The only question is whether we have eyes to see it, or if we will remain in foolish and fatal blindness to this truth.
Finally, Jesus declares His authority “in heaven and on earth.” While He ministered in Galilee, Judea, and Samaria, He proclaimed a kingdom that was not of this earth. But that kingdom of heaven was not to remain relegated to some distant world. Indeed, Jesus taught His disciples to pray that the kingdom of heaven would take its place here too: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Jesus had no intentions of leaving the world the way it was when He entered it. He came to undo Adam’s curse, and to topple the rule of evil, “so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve him” (Daniel 7:14).
All this is true. Yet how often do we think of Christ’s kingdom? How often are we instead caught up in worry and fear, busyness and busy-bodying, about so many earthly dominions, while neglecting the greater kingdom? From the most powerful man to the lowliest servant, the same is true: If we are busy about our own kingdoms instead of His, we are squandering our time and energy. We are to be about His kingdom. So, as He taught us, we pray: “Thy kingdom come.” And Lord, may it come quickly.