|Topical Bible Study||May 1961|
The Son of God Series—Lesson IX
A Prince and a King
THE titles “prince” and “king” denote the exercise of rulership. Jehovah is the supreme Ruler of the entire universe, and Jesus, as his Son, is therefore properly referred to as a “prince.” The Scriptures refer to him as “The Prince of Peace,” because he will establish peace, not only between people, but between God and men.—Isa. 9:6
Jesus, during the thousand years of his kingdom, will also be a King—the greatest and most powerful King mankind has ever known. When Jesus was raised from the dead he announced that all power had been given unto him, and during the thousand years of his rulership over the earth this power will be used to put down all insubordination to the divine will. All the enemies of God and men will be destroyed by this “all power,” even death itself.—Matt. 28:18; I Cor. 15:25,18
The entire testimony of the Scriptures concerning Jesus assures us that he will be a righteous Ruler. It was because he loved righteousness and bated iniquity that the Heavenly Father exalted him to his own right hand.—Heb. 1:3,8,9; Eph. 1:20
The ultimate objective of Christ’s rulership over the earth will be to establish righteousness and peace, and we can be assured that this will be gloriously accomplished. (Isa. 32:1,16,17) However, during the time when unrighteousness is being rooted out from human affairs, and righteousness is being established, all will not be tranquil and peaceful.* The testimony of the Bible is that Christ will rule the nations with a “rod of iron,” and that those who oppose will be broken to pieces.—Ps. 2:6-9
* “The Divine Plan of the Ages,” page 302.
Only those who willfully oppose the rulership of King Jesus will suffer punishment, and those who continue to oppose will be destroyed in the second death. (Acts 3:23; Rev. 20:14) When enlightened, those who learn to love righteousness and who are at heart obedient to the kingdom laws, will be given every assistance to reform.
The Scriptures reveal that Jesus will not only be King, but also a priest—a priest upon his throne, as foreshadowed by Melchizedek. (Ps. 110:4-6) The function of biblical priests was to offer sacrifice and, upon the basis of sacrifices offered, to reconcile the people with God. Just so with Jesus: he gave his own life in sacrifice and, upon the basis of this will, while he reigns as King, also mediate between God and men. Thus he will not only destroy sin, but restore repentant sinners to harmony with God. And his rulership will lead to the full answer to the prayer, “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” and to the full establishment of covenant relationship between God and men.—Jer. 31:31-34; Matt. 6:10
The true followers of Jesus will reign with him as kings and as priests. (Rev. 5:9,10; 20:6) Thus it is that they will share with Christ in the work of blessing all the families of the earth.
Jesus affirmed to Pilate that he was born to be a King. How many of these questions concerning the kingship of Jesus can you answer?
What is the difference between a prince and a king? How do these differences apply to Jesus?
Jesus announced after his resurrection that “all power” had been given to him. What assurance do we have that this unlimited power will be used by him for the utmost good of humanity?
Will the thousand-year reign Christ be a time of absolute peace and tranquility for the human race?
Who alone will suffer punishment during the period of Christ’s kingdom?
Explain the twofold work of Jesus as Priest and King. How is this illustrated in the Bible?
Will Jesus have associate kings of and priests?
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
Jesus’ love for righteousness is our assurance that his rulership over the people of earth will be just and loving, and will result in the everlasting blessing of all the willing and obedient.