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“Jesus Christ, who is . . . the ruler of the kings of the earth" (Revelation 1:5).
The word for “ruler” means he is the ultimate authority over all the kings of the earth. They are great, but he is greater. They are mighty, but he is mightier. Millions answer to them, but they answer to him. He is not merely one of the kings. He rules over them all.
In the first century the mighty emperor Nero thought he was the ruler of the kings of the earth. He held in his hands the power of life and death. Thumbs up: one man lived. Thumbs down: one man died. It is said that he ordered the burning of Rome and then blamed it on the early Christians. He had Paul the apostle beheaded, thinking that the pernicious Christian movement would die with him. But now 2000 years have passed, and the tables have turned. We name our dogs Nero and our sons Paul.
Who are the rulers of the earth John is talking about? They are political leaders in their various spheres–mayors and councilmen, chairmen and governors, congressmen and senators, presidents and prime ministers, and potentates of every variety. There are small-time kings who rule tiny realms and mighty kings who rule vast empires.
Their names are Obama, Putin, Netanyahu, Ahmadinejad, Gaddafi, Harper, Blair, Singh, Kim, Abdullah, Sarkozy, Karzai, Hu, Mugabe, Calderon, Merkel, Biya and Cameron. And a million others just like them.
Jesus rules over them all. We all know that the world is in a mess. That’s why it’s hard to believe this is true. All the evidence seems to move in the opposite direction. The pornographers go free, the baby-killers are untouched, the politicians break the laws they write, the drug dealers make their millions, and the nations arm themselves for total destruction. When you look around, you could make a good case that Satan is the ruler of the kings of the earth.
But it only seems that way. Satan has no power except that granted to him by God. In due time and at the proper moment, Jesus will step back on the stage of world history. Think of it. The hands that were nailed to the cross will someday rule the world. Though we do not see it today, it is certain and sure of fulfillment. That’s what the book of Revelation is all about. Read it for yourself and see how the story ends.
In the meantime, right now and at this very moment, he is the ruler of the kings of the earth.
By him they reign.
By him they are restrained.
By him they are replaced.
By him they will be judged.
Will Jesus take care of my future? Yes he will, for he is the ruler of the kings of the earth. You’re in good hands when you are in his hands for those hands rule the universe.
In these days when the world seems to shake beneath us, we rest our faith on you, Lord Jesus, ruler of the kings of the earth. Amen.
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