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"Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?' 'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied." Matthew 27:11
Jesus did not look much like a king as He stood there — His hands bound, a cord about His neck. Pilate's question sounds like ridicule. Yet Jesus answered, "Yes, I am a king." Strange answer! Where, then, was His power? Where were His throne, His crown, His scepter, His royal robes? Who recognized His sway? Pilate probably looked at Him with mingled contempt and pity.
But to us today, how different does it all appear! He is enthroned now "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world — but also in that which is to come." In Heaven He is honored as "King of kings, and Lord of lords." On His head are many crowns. All over the earth, too, His sway is felt. Wherever His gospel has gone, with its revelation of divine love and grace — the influence of His kingdom has reached.
And Jesus was as really a king when He stood before Pilate that day, to human eyes bound and powerless, as He is now, exalted on heaven's throne. His kingdom was spiritual: it was a kingdom of truth, of righteousness, of holiness, of grace, and of love. He seemed the weakest of all men that morning; but in reality He was the mightiest, the grandest, the kingliest.
What, then, is greatness? What is power? What is kingliness? Not anything external, not anything that men's eyes can see. The world bows down before thrones which glitter, and crowns whose jewels flash in sunlight, and worships power whose majesty is expressed in material splendor. But the real power of the world is Christ's power — The kingdom whose sway is over human hearts and lives. It is spiritual. It makes men better, and lifts them up into noble life, into purity, holiness, and Divine beauty.