Names of Jesus: King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is our Sovereign Lord of All, the Image of the Invisible God, and the Only Begotten Son of God. The names for Jesus seem endless, just as He himself is endless, the Alpha and Omega, first and last, beginning and end. He is before, during, and after all time. He has no beginning and no end, and because of who Jesus is we can come to Him in faith to be saved. Today we will explore what it means that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and how this part of His identity is relevant to us.
What does King of Kings and Lord of Lords mean?
It is important to first understand the Biblical definitions of these titles and ranks in order to better understand their application to Jesus Christ. In 1 Timothy 6:15, we see Jesus named as the “blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of Lords“.
15 God will bring this about in his own time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords,1 Timothy 6:15-16 CSB
16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see, to him be honor and eternal power. Amen.
Here, the word used for “King” is basileus (G935) and means “leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king”, and the word for “kings” (small “k”) is basileuō (G936) which means “to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign”. As King of kings, Jesus is the leader and commander of world rulers – He rules the rulers, leads the leaders, commands the commanders. He is King (big “K”) over all other rulers.
The word used for Lord here is kyrios (G2962) which means “he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has the power of deciding; master, lord;” and in this context is the title specifically given to God as ruler of the universe. Lord (little “l”) is kyrieuō (G2961) means “supreme ruler”, and is also used in relation to dominions of the world, for which Christ is Lord of All. As Lord of lords, Jesus is being identified as the Owner and Master of the universe and everything in it. This use of Lord (big “L”) is another name used to identify God, and here again, is another name by which Jesus is declared to be God.
Jesus Christ is Sovereign above every other ruler to ever exist, them having been made by, through, and for Him, and He is the Creator, Owner, and Master of the entire universe. He is the only Sovereign, the only one who is immortal and eternal, the only one whom all honor is due and power attributed, and the only true Light, the only source of truth and goodness.
Why is Jesus the King of King and Lord of Lords?
Understanding what it means that Jesus is King and Lord, we must also ask why this is so. Why is Jesus the only Sovereign, and the Owner and Master of the entire universe? As with His other names, this particular name or Jesus is a means to identify Jesus again as God Himself. Not only this but God exalted Jesus and gave Him the name above every other name, identifying Jesus as Lord. In short, Jesus is King and Lord because God said so – and because He is God.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,Philippians 2:9-11 ESV
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Additionally, in our studies of Jesus as Image of the Invisible God and the Lord of All, we discover that all of creation was made by Jesus’ power and means and that all of creation was also made for His divine purposes. Jesus Christ is also the one through whom God lets His absolute goodness, righteousness, and holiness be seen. As Creator, all He has made belongs to Him. He is the Creator, Master, and Owner of all things and God displays Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.Colossians 1:15-17 ESV
16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Because all things were made by His means, through His divinity, and for His purposes, and because the fullness of God is pleased to dwell in Him, Jesus Christ alone is the Ruler of the universe, Owner of all creation, and Master of all. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,Colossians 1:19-20 ESV
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
More from this study series:
- Names of Jesus: Beloved Son of God
- Names of Jesus: Son of the Most High
- Names of Jesus: Lord of All
- Names of Jesus: Only Begotten Son of God
- Names of Jesus: Image of the Invisible God
- Names of Jesus: I Am
- Names of Jesus: Alpha and Omega
- Names of Jesus: Almighty
- Names of Jesus: King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Names of Jesus: Judge
- Names of Jesus: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace
What does Jesus do as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
As King and Lord, Jesus is our Judge, Lawgiver, and Savior. Goodness, instruction, wisdom, mercy, grace, and salvation come from Him alone. As the Only Sovereign, He is the only one who can save mankind from the penalty of our sins, is the only source of Truth, and is the only one whom we should strive to imitate.
(For the Lord is our Judge,
The Lord is our Lawgiver,
The Lord is our King;
He will save us);Isaiah 33:22 NKJV
Jesus as Lord and King instructs us in how to live in His plan according to His purposes, and He oversees, plans, leads, guides, provides for us as we walk with Him in faith. He judges all of creation according to His divine wisdom, disciplines disobedience, and blesses faithfulness. He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (all-present), and omnipotent (all-powerful).
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his bloodRevelation 1:4-6 ESV
6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and with justice he judges and makes war.Revelation 19:11-16 CSB
12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns[a] were on his head. He had a name written that no one knows except himself.
13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God.
14 The armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, wearing pure white linen.
15 A sharp[b] sword came from his mouth, so that he might strike the nations with it. He will rule[c] them with an iron rod. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty.
16 And he has a name written on his robe and on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
He discerns, calls, heals, transforms, and works in all of His creation. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and who He calls for His purposes – He orchestrates His plans throughout all of time for the good of those who are faithful to Him and whom He gives the privilege of participating in His divine plans.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28 ESV
What is the importance of teaching about the King of King and Lord of Lords?
As King and Lord, Jesus Christ works all things together for those who are faithful to Him as their Savior and seek to do His will. It is important not only to understand this ourselves but also to share this life-and-eternity-changing truth. For those who He calls according to His purpose, He gives a commission – to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel.
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.Mark 16:15-16 ESV
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
We are to pay careful attention, to be obedient to His will and Word, and in so doing we should be living examples of the truth of His gospel and share His truth. When we are faithful to His instruction we are participants of His great plan, doing the work He has prepared in advance for us to do in order to grow the Kingdom of God and help lead others to the only Sovereign, the only Savior, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:2 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24:14 NKJV
We should teach others of our love for Christ and His truth. When we truly love God, we obey Him. When we are truly obeying Him in love, we are intentionally growing in our knowledge and understanding of Him through His Word, and growing in relationship with Him through earnest prayer and obedience. When we are obedient out of love, we are filled, and we bear the fruits of our faithfulness to the Lord. We will abide in Him and Him in us, learning to live in the ways He instructs us to and applying what we learn to do the will of the Lord. When we truly love the Lord, that love is reflected in the way we live.
23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.John 14:23-24 ESV
24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.1 John 2:3-6 ESV
4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
We should love the Lord so much – love His wisdom, truth, salvation so much – that we cannot help but share it and do the work He has given us, to grow in our own faith and relationship with Him, and to draw others closer to Him so they, too, can share in the eternal inheritance and blessings we have been promised. We should not neglect or be selfish with the gospel of our salvation, the truth of our King and Lord, but instead, love God and love people so much His truth pours out of us as evidence of our faith and a testimony to the world of the goodness, grace, and glory of the Master of the universe.
19 We love because he first loved us.1 John 4:19 ESV
When we understand who Christ is as Lord and King, we begin to better understand that to love your neighbor as yourself is to desire others to share in the salvation you have accepted from the Master of the universe. Love comes from the Lord, and when we truly love Him we are filled with His love and we pour out His love onto others. We display His love to others because we are so filled with love for and from Him. Through His love we draw others to Him, and play a vital role in His redemptive plan, preparing for His return.
37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.[a]Matthew 22:37-39 CSB
38 This is the greatest and most important[b] command.
39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.[c]
How are you teaching others of the love and Truth of the King of kings and Lord of lords? How are you participating in the great commission we have all been given? What are some ways you can testify of the Lord this week? I encourage you to pray for opportunities to be used by the Lord and to be rightly aligned with Him to be flowing over with His love. Let us know how we can be praying for you and the work God has prepared for you to do for His great plan.
Have you accepted the grace of God?
If you have not accepted the grace of God and chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to pray to God now and invite Him in, accept Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, and repent of your sins. Submit it all to God, lay it at His feet, seek the forgiveness of God, welcome Him into your life, and believe that Jesus died and rose again to save you from your sins.
If you would like to learn more about salvation, you can find a couple of studies that may help here:
- Names of Jesus: Savior
- Don’t Neglect Your Salvation
- Prayer of Salvation
- What is grace and why do we need it?
- What does it mean to be justified by grace?
- Don’t Reject God’s Grace
- Don’t Reject Christ
- Godly Women – what it means to live a godly life
- Redeemed Women – what it means to be redeemed
- What is Biblical Love?
- What are Spiritual Gifts?
- How to live in Spirit and Truth
- How to test what is pleasing to God
- Names of Jesus as the Son of God
- Names of Jesus as the Son of Man
- Names of Jesus as the Truth
Recommended Study Tools
|CSB She Reads Truth Bible–soft leather-look, rose gold
By Holman Bible Publishers
|Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary: Based on Articles from the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible
By J.D. Douglas & M.C. Tenney, edited by M. Silva / Zondervan