THE QUESTION OF THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST! REFLECTION FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

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Questions are designed primarily to elicit information or to confirm an existing one. However, questions have the capacity to extract what lies hidden in someone’s mind even when the individual is unwilling to let it out; so, they could be potential traps.

Notice that the first-ever question in the Bible was addressed to eve by the devil (in the guise of a serpent) during the episode preceding the Fall. We could recall the question: “Did God say that you should not eat from any of the trees in the garden?” (Gen. 3:1).

The second-ever question was addressed to Adam, which says, “where are you?” Note that the question is still relevant to date; God is still asking each of us the same question regarding where we stand between good and evil.

This reflection started with the question phenomenon following the interface between Jesus and Pilate at his arrest and arraignment before the governor (John 18:33b-37). Pilate asked the Lord, “Are you the King of the Jews?” and Jesus answering, asks: “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?

The reaction of Jesus to this question shows that Pilate was seeking to confirm a piece of information he already has about Jesus. Our Lord further states that his Kingdom is not worldly; otherwise, his attendants would not have allowed the Jews to arrest him. At this, Pilate declares, “then you are a king!” Jesus replies, saying: “you say I am a King. For this I was born to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice”.

Our Lord’s answer to Pilate’s confirmation of his Kingship leaves us with so many lessons that would provide the foundation and structure for our reflection.

Born to be King

One of the high points of the joyful visit of the angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary is the divine oracle that says, “The Lord will give him the throne of Father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke1:32-33).

Next, when the wise men came from the east seeking where Jesus was born, their exact words were these, “where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him”.

The two preceding New Testament events confirm the oracle of Isaiah (9:6-7) that says that a child is born to us, and the government will be on his shoulders, and the greatness of His government and peace will have no end. The Wonder Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace who will reign on David’s throne and over his Kingdom forever.

The apparent disputation over the Kingship of Jesus Christ could be because of the “unroyal” nature of his immediate family background. Remember that he was a resident of Nazareth where nothing good could come (John1:46). The truth, however, is that the Kingship of Jesus Christ is not of this world, neither is it attached to any human background or excellence.

King of Truth

While describing the nature of his Kingship to Pilate, our Lord Jesus Christ mentioned that he was born to be King to testify to the truth. In the event of hearing about the truth, Pilate asked, “what is the truth?”

Our Lord Jesus Christ did not answer the question because the answer was obvious. Recall that he is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), so asking about the truth before the truth made no sense.

Our redemption is a function of the truth, “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). The truth represents the life-giving instructions and promises of God, which the devil, the liar (John 8:44), would constantly contradict with seductive arguments. Recall that the Fall of man was on account of the lies of the devil to Eve that they would not die if they ate the forbidden fruit, but that their eyes would open to know good and evil. (Gen. 3:4-5).

Becoming the Reflections of our King

Children are expected to reflect their parents physically, and attitudinally and this follows the law of genetics and reproduction. If you accept the Kingship of Jesus Christ, we should reflect him in our lives and conducts. We should not proclaim a righteous King and sit in abject unrighteousness. We should not proclaim the King and Kingdom of Truth and bask in lies and falsehood.

We are invited today not only to proclaim the Kingship of Jesus Christ with our lips but also to live out the values of the Kingdom as coheir with him (Romans 8:17). So often go through suffering and trials, and we sit and wonder why certain things should happen to us besides being coheir with Christ (Romans 8:17)? The good news is that we shall reign with Lord as much as we suffer with him (2 Tim. 2:12).

More than anything, we need to make Jesus Christ ruling power of our lives, especially in our day and age where we have to contend certain “kings” and “kingdoms” standing in our faces and tempting us with products and services that appeal to our carnal nature in disobedience to the call to holiness and righteousness in the Lord.

God bless you and have a joyful celebration of Christ the Universal King.

Fr. Bonnie.

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