The bumper sticker said: “No matter who the president is, Jesus is King.”
Amid polarized opinions, that’s a comforting reminder in any generation.
Jesus once said to a Roman governor: “My kingdom is not of this world.”
Maybe it’s a challenge for us Americans to identify with Jesus as our King. After all, we don’t have kings. None of us have ever lived under a king. Each July 4th we celebrate and give thanks that we live in a republic, a representative sort of democracy with an uneasy balance of power—judicial, legislative and executive. We declared our independence from kings long ago and our constitution guards against any one man having absolute power—the very thing a king has in a genuine monarchy. Any form of government is only as good as the king or the citizens in charge.
We Americans are a pretty independent bunch. We have been raised with the right not only to disagree publicly with the powers that be, but to poke fun at them without fear of reprisal. The late-night comedians would be hard up for monologues if they didn’t have presidents and politicians to make fun of.
So why would we Americans today find comfort in having Jesus as our King?
Maybe it’s because we all long for the kind of king this world has never had. King David was a man after God’s own heart—but he was still a disappointment to himself and his people in his darker hours. King Arthur with his Camelot remains only a myth.
But what if there were a king—a man with absolute power—who was not corrupted by that power? What if there was a king who used His power not for Himself but for the good of His people? What if there was a king who would ultimately triumph over all that is dark and evil and set things right? What if there was a king whose promises were not political propaganda but unfailingly fulfilled? What if this king actually loved us?
There is such a King—the King of kings. And, thank God, His kingdom is not of this world. Jesus did not try to Christianize the governments of Herod, Pilate and Caesar, nor did He counsel the oppressed masses to rise up and throw off their chains. He refused to set up one more political opposition camp in the marketplace of this world’s kingdoms. We just haven’t been paying attention in our own lifetimes if we have failed to notice that neither the left nor the right has made the kingdom of God arrive by way of lobbyists, politicians or the ballot box. The empires of old—Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome—the kings, queens, dictators and tyrants of every age—they’re all gone to dust. Christ remains, ruling in human hearts through the gospel of His pardon—a kingdom that can neither be invaded nor conquered. And where Jesus rules, then even in the saddest places and darkest chapters of history, no matter who the president is, Jesus is King!