King of Kings and Lord of Lords



Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is described in many ways in scripture.  One of the most beautiful is found in Isa. 9:6, where the scripture says, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government shall rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”  Our Lord is also called, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29).  It would be difficult to choose a name that best describes the Lord because each name by which He is identified in scripture speaks to some aspect of His role in God’s eternal plan to save mankind.

The name that perhaps fits Him best after His resurrection and ascension is the one used by Paul to describe Him in 1 Tim. 6:15.  Here Paul called the Lord, “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.”  The phrase “King of Kings and Lord of lords” is used only three times in the New Testament.  Each time it is used exclusively in reference to Jesus.  In Rev. 17:14 John used this phrase to describe the Lamb who overcomes the beast.  He did so because the Lamb is “Lord of lords and King of kings”.  Later, in Rev. 19:16, when John saw the Lord coming, riding on a white horse, he said that on His robe and on His thigh was written, “King of kings and Lord of lords”.

The power of this designation for our Lord is that He is the supreme authority in heaven and on earth.  There may be kings and lords on earth, but our Lord is the King over all the kings.  He is the Lord over all lords, whoever they may be, or however powerful they may be.  This, of course, is a biblical truth to which our Lord Himself testified.  When the Lord appeared to the apostles for one of the last times before His ascension to heaven, He told them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Mt. 28:18).

This truth coincides perfectly with the fact that Jesus Christ is now reigning over His kingdom.  The climax of Peter’s sermon on the first Pentecost after the Lord’s resurrection was that God had raised Jesus from the dead and made Him “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).  Paul also testified to this truth in Col. 1:13, where he told Christians in Colossae that God “rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son”.  Paul also showed that Christ is now reigning in 1 Cor. 15:20-28.  There he said that at the end of time the Lord would “hand over the kingdom to the God and Father”.  The Lord, Paul said, must reign until all His enemies had been put under His feet.  The last enemy to be subdued will be death, at which time God the Father will resume supreme authority.

The implication of this truth is simple and powerful.  We now live in the reign of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  We live in the time when Jesus Christ is the supreme authority in heaven and on earth.  Only God the Father is not subject to Him (1 Cor. 15:28).  As a result, we owe our allegiance and obedience to Jesus Christ and to no other.

Because Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords, we must respond to Him in a way that is appropriate to what He is. He is not the baby in the manger.  He is not the passive, almost feminine figure that so many portray Him as being.  He is “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords”.  Therefore we must bow the knee before Him, and make confession with our lips and with our lives, that He is THE Lord.  We must do so because He has the name that is above every name (Phi. 2:9-11), and one day we will stand before Him in judgment (2 Cor. 5:10).