Our Mission from Jesus: Kings

by Feb 8, 2010

Jesus has sent us to be missionaries to the world around us, and we are called to reflect all three of his roles: prophet, priest, and king.

Jesus is king over all creation, and in Philippians 2, it says that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. King. But Jesus wants to start exercising his reign right now, starting in the hearts of his people.

He demands complete allegiance. That’s what he asked for when some punk seminary student wanted to test him by asking him what the most important commandment was:

One of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

In the first commandment, Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6, a passage that Jews recited each morning and evening. It was called the “Shema,” which means “to hear.” Everybody knew about heart, soul, and strength from Deuteronomy 6. But then Jesus added something that wasn’t in Deuteronomy.

When Jesus started reciting this commandment, the teacher of the law would have been mouthing the words with him… “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your… mind?  …  What?  That’s not what Moses said!”

So when he responded to Jesus, he tried to change it back:

And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding (soul) and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  (Mark 12:32-33)

But Jesus added that fourth aspect of our love for God for a reason. He was talking to a seminary student. So he’s dealing with theories and philosophies and intellectual arguments every day. Jesus knew that this guy’s mind was leading him away from his simple love for God, toward a more rational, legalistic religiosity.

He may have loved the Lord with all his heart, soul, and strength, but he was probably missing the mark with his mind. So Jesus the King was asking, “Is your love fractional or total?” Is your dedication to God something that has absolutely overtaken every nook and cranny of your life? Every waking moment of your day? Every activity you pursue? Every relationship you have? Or is there a point you reach where you say, “That’s enough Jesus for now.”

Is Jesus King or is he not? That’s the question Jesus is going to keep asking:

As Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.’ David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” (Mark 12:35-37)

He’s saying, “We all know King David was the greatest of all Israel’s kings. But if he’s calling one of his descendents “Lord,” what does that mean about this guy? … It means there’s something extraordinary about him.”

Here’s an explicit claim of Jesus to be not only the Son of David, but also the very Son of God. The king of kings. And so our job is to make Jesus the king in our own hearts and influence other people to do the same thing.

Most people don’t want to let Jesus reign. They want to live their own lives and pursue their own desires, and if they can use Jesus to bless those things, then even better. You can get Jesus to approve your music listening habits by saying that he wants you to be in touch with the culture so you’re a better witness. You can get Jesus to approve your conspicuous consumption habits by saying that he wants you to live life to the full! You can get Jesus to approve the quick-temper you have with your kids by saying that he wants you to stand strong for righteousness.

But Jesus didn’t come to earth just to bless the life you already live, he came to earth to be king! To change your heart and transform your life. That’s the message we have to bring to the world.