Kevin Duckett is a metal detecting hobbyist, who went hunting with his tools in a field a dozen miles north of his home in Northamptonshire (UK) a few years ago. When he spotted a gold glint, his first thought was that he had stumbled on an aluminum foil treasure.
He was wrong.
He found a small gold statuette. Only 2-1/2 inches tall, it seems that he found the centerpiece of a Tudor crown worn by King Henry VIII, among others, and was lost sometime in the mid-17th century. It was thought that it had been melted down to make coins after the fall of the British monarchy in 1649. Apparently it had been lost in the Battle of Naseby in 1645, where it lay until Duckett found it nearly four centuries later.
The centerpiece to that kingly crown is as valuable as one might imagine — it’s worth has been estimated at about $2.7 million.
If that one piece of one crown of one king who has been long dead has such great value, what is the value of the crown of the greatest King? What is the nature of the greatest King and what benefit is derived from Him?
Scripture tells us Jesus is the “ruler of the Kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5). He is the preeminent King, the King of all other kings, the King who cannot be overthrown (Ps. 2:2; 89:27; Is. 52:15; Phil. 2:9; 1 Tim. 6:16; Rev. 6:15-17; 17:14; 19:16).
To say that Jesus Christ is the King of kings means that while many kings may be prominent and powerful in some way, and while many of those prominent kings will seek broader influence in the world and for longer periods of time, no one has Christ’s authority. What is even a forty year reign in comparison to eternity? What is a worldwide army in comparison to the hosts of Heaven and earth? What is authority over a few million or even billion people in comparison to authority over (and creation of!) every individual who has ever lived? None compares to Christ.
“He is the King of Heaven (Daniel 4:37), the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2); the King of Israel (John 1:49); the King of the ages (1 Timothy 1:17); the King of glory (Psalm 24:7); the King of saints (Revelation 15:3); and the King of kings (Revelation 19:16). He is the mighty Prince of the kings of the earth (Daniel 8:25).” [Strauss]
Jesus is the greatest King. And no other king is even slightly comparable in authority to Him. Jesus is the preeminent King because He is a King who does not receive His authority from another (Mt. 4:8ff). His authority is self-derived, even as His existence is self-derived. What Satan offered Jesus through rebellion to the Father was a temporal kingdom; Jesus received and had authority from God the Father to execute judgment over all mankind because He was Himself God as the second member of the Trinity (Jn. 5:27). No created being can offer Him authority; He has always had full authority as an expression of His deity.
Additionally, not only is Jesus greater than all kings, but He will fulfill the Davidic Covenant eternally and all His people will be preserved through Him (Ps. 89:28-29). That Psalm also affirms that God will keep His covenant from 2 Samuel 7 to establish an eternal Davidic King over Israel (and all the earth) — it is an unconditional, unilateral, eternal promise.
Further, since Christ is our King, not only do we follow the Victor, but we are all preserved through Him. As King of all kings, He keeps us safe (cf. also Jn. 16:33; 1 Pt. 1:5-6).
And because He is such a powerful and preserving King for His people, He is worthy to be worshipped and we are called to worship Him (Rev. 1:6).
But the doctrine of Christ’s Kingship is also a truth of comfort. In a world where truth is suppressed and where truth is hard to determine, and in a world where there is only death and dying and no eternal life, and in a world where there are so many incompetent and incapable kings, to have a Lord who is truth, life, and sovereign is our rest and peace.
At the advent and incarnation of Christ, virtually the first thing that was said of the new King Jesus was, “peace on earth” ( 2:14); and one of the last public declarations about Christ was “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Lk. 19:38); and one of the last things Jesus said to His disciples was, “Peace be to you” (Lk. 24:36). His coming was in authority and power — and to provide peace for His people.
Friend, if you are suffering and despairing and grieving and provoked, go to the only One who is peace and hope and joy — the One who came authoritatively so we would rest and not be anxious.
Photo from Henry 8ths Crown Jewel Facebook page.