From The Word Magazine, April, 1984, Page 25
By Father James C. Meena
Are You A King, Then?
In the prophesies of Isaiah, we find the following statement: “For there is a Child born for us, a Son given to us — and dominion is laid on his shoulders and this is the name they gave him: Wonderful — Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end, for the throne of David and for his royal power, which he establishes and makes secure in justice and integrity,” (Isaiah 9:5-7).
This prophesy refers to the royal line of David in a mystical manner that defies immediate understanding. One who would look on the surface would think that Isaiah is talking about someone fulfilling the lineage of David in a temporal monarchy, yet if we read the prophesy carefully we find that the implications are very clear, that the monarchy of which he speaks transcends earthly dominions and domains. It is a universal Kingship, beyond all time, all space.
When Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and confronted by Caiaphas, the High Priest, He refused at first to answer him. The High Priest said to Him “I put you on oath by the living God to tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus answered, “The words are your own. Moreover I tell you from this time onward you shall see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven”, (St. Matt. 26:59-65). Notice that Caiaphas did not ask him, “Are you a King?”, because the Priesthood of Judaea was more concerned about the coming of the Messiah than they were about an earthly king because the Messiah promised to bring with Him peace everlasting and dominion of the people of God.
However, it was Pilate who asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”. Jesus replied to Pilate, “Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others told you this of Me?”. Pilate said, “Am I a Jew that I should know these things? Of course others told me about you.” Jesus answered. “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, My men would have fought for Me”. Pilate asked Him again, “So then, are You a King?’ Jesus answered flat out, “Yes, I am a King. It is you who has said so. I was born for this and I came into the world for this to bear witness to the truth and all who are on the side of truth shall listen to My voice”, (St. John 18:33 -40).
You will please notice that Jesus did not circumvent the question the second time. Yet He answered it in such a way that it was no answer at all because Pilate wanted to know, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus sidestepped that question, but when he asked Him, “Are You a king, then?”, He said, “You have spoken. You say that I am a King. And I say to you that for this reason I was born, for this reason I came into the world.” So it is not the Kingdom of Judah with which Jesus is concerned for He had said many times, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” He has said to Pilate, “If My Kingdom were of this world My men would have fought for Me”. After all, other leaders had militias of men to protect them. We read about several revolutionaries of that time who, when their leaders died, the rebellions died with them, (Acts 5:33-39).
Jesus made it very clear. His Kingdom had long since been established by His Father with Whom He is co-eternal and consubstantial. Long before the earth was ever created or conceived, He is King. Nonetheless, in the minds of men, then and now, there is the insistence that we reduce things to a level that we can understand and sometimes, in that process of reduction, we fall way from the truth. When Jesus entered into Jerusalem, the people called out to Him, “Hosannah, blessings on the King of Israel, Who comes in The Name of The Lord”. The people had not fully understood the spiritual teaching of the prophesies. They were looking not for a Messiah, but for a king, a King for Israel, someone who would come and help them get rid of all foreign intruders and re-establish the Throne of David. And you and I, although we don’t live in a monarchy, often think in the same terms as the children of Israel and the members of the tribe of Judah thought two thousand years ago. Sometimes we are so concerned about the earthly Kingship of Jesus that we forget that the Kingdom that He brought to us is the Kingdom of Heaven. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be granted unto you”, (St. Matt. 6:3 3).
We worry a lot about things, our future, about educating our children. So many earthly things concern us, and I suppose we should have a normal concern. I don’t think God wants us to totally abandon all utilization of our common sense or our need to make provisions for ourselves and for the needs of our families. But I think what God objects to is when we reverse our priorities and put these “things” first, when glorifying God comes after all other “things,” when we don’t seek the Kingdom of God until after we have sought all these other “things”.
When Jesus says, “Behold the lillies of the field, they neither sow nor do they reap, yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not adorned as one of these”, He doesn’t expect us to be nourished by the sun and sink our roots into the earth and suck up the vitality that we need. He is telling us, allegorically, that we, as the rest of creation, should be more dependent upon God and less dependent on our own talents and abilities. While we develop those talents and abilities to their highest point, we do so under the Dominion of God as citizens of His Kingdom.
“Art Thou A King, then?”. My Kingdom is not of this world. I am a King of eternity. I am a King of all the universe and I am a King of all that which transcends time and space. Seek ye first My Kingdom and everything else will be forthcoming. The Resurrection of Jesus is living proof of His concern for our welfare. The Kingdom was established for our welfare.
CHRIST IS RISEN!
Christ is risen, and the tomb is emptied of the dead; for Christ, having risen from the dead, is become the firstfruits of those that have fallen asleep. To him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.