When you look into the New Testament, there is one man who is at the center — Jesus Christ. Who is He? There are many different descriptions and titles for Jesus. He is fully seen as a Savior and forgiver of the sins of humanity. He is called a friend who sticks closer than a brother. He is a rabbi, a teacher seeking to lead people into the ways of God. We also see that Jesus is King. Kings rule. Kings reign. You do not debate or argue with a king. You submit and bow to Him. You follow a King and give your allegiance.
Perhaps the primary theme of the New Testament is the Kingdom of God. Wherever you have a kingdom, you have a King. The invitation of the New Testament is to embrace this King Jesus and His Kingdom in our lives. Jesus has not called us to be a part of a saved-dom but He called us to be a part of His Kingdom.
A saved-dom is just about you being forgiven and going to heaven one day. Jesus does save us, but He calls us to more. He calls us into His Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of Jesus in us, through us and around us as we submit to Jesus. The Kingdom is not just about us going to heaven, but about heaven coming to earth in our lives. Jesus doesn’t just want to get us to heaven but he wants to get heaven into us.
The Old Testament anticipates the coming of the King. Much of the Old Testament narrative is preparing for the arrival of Jesus Christ — God’s Messiah. The Messiah is expected to a great King who will come. He is said to be from of old, the ancient of days (Micah 5:1-5). This King was expected to be a strong and gentle shepherd who would come to leave his people. When you go to the movies, they always show coming attractions prior to the movie. These attractions often show some of the best scenes that whet your appetite so you can’t wait for the new movie to come out. This is the sense of the Old Testament that prepares us for the coming attraction of the Servant King who will come to set His people free.
Eventually the New Testament opens up in the Gospel of Matthew with the introduction of the King. Matthew’s Gospel opens up with these words: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1). The word genealogy can also be the word “genesis” in the Greek language of the New Testament. Genesis is the first book of the Bible and means the “book of Beginnings.” Matthew in a sense is letting us know that Jesus is ushering in a new Genesis. In the original beginning, humanity rebelled against God and sinned thus leaving us separated from God’s presence and purpose for our lives. Jesus is offering a new beginning to those who will seek Him.
He is also referred to as the son of David. Jesus is from the royal line of David. David was considered the greatest king of Israel to ever live. He was promised by God that one of his sons would always sit upon his throne. It was a promise that his kingdom would endure to some extent. The reason that Jesus is referred to as the son of David is precisely because Jesus is the fulfillment of this promise. King Jesus, the son of David, is the great and eternal King who will rule and reign forever. We will never receive the Kingdom of God unless we receive this King. We will never discover God’s purpose unless we submit to rule and reign of Jesus in our lives. The Kingdom of God is near you. Jesus invites you to seek Him, submit to Him, and follow Him that His Kingdom may come into your life. And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-634-2960.