You are Right in Saying I Am a King

March 27, 2024

by Joseph D. Klotz
The Hodgkins Lutheran

Byzantine Christ Icon
Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?" "Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "It was your people and chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?" Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me" (John 18:33-37).

Who would have thought that anti-semitic non-Christians would start using the phrase "Christ is King" as a way to intimidate and slander Jewish people?

Not me, that's for sure.

Imagine my surprise when, for an entire hour, this was the topic of discussion on one of my regular podcasts.

The host explained how Candace Owens, recently separated from Ben Shapiro's "The Daily Wire" used the phrase in a post on X. She was called out for anti-semitism by other members of the Daily Wire. Some of them posted about how the phrase is anti-semitic, and that Jesus' name should never be used to slander the race from which Jesus came, God's chosen people, the Jews.

For sure, Jesus' name should never be used to demean others. To do so is to violate the Second Commandment. But it also got me thinking. The leftist media is going to have a field day showing hypocrites who call themselves Christians who are taking Jesus' name in vain, using it for the vile purpose of trying to disparage another human being because of their so-called race. It won't be long before there are stories in the mainstream media asserting that saying "Christ is King" is hate speech and orthodox Christianity is a right-wing hate group.

First, let's get this out of the way right off the bat. Anti-semitism is wrong. Like racism of all other varieties, anti-semitism is sin. Christianity, in fact, doesn't recognize the concept of race as it is understood in the American socio-political context.

As trite as it may sound, the saying is true: there is only one race - the human race. All people, being descended from our common parents, Adam and Eve, are all part of the same human family. We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. To hate him because he is of a different ethnicity than we are is the opposite of that command, and therefore we must repent. Moreover, as St. Paul says to the Galatians, all of us who are a part of the body of Christ are united in a way that supersedes all earthly differences:

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:26-29).

In spite of this, some might be tempted to say that Christians should stop using the phrase "Christ is King" because it has been tainted with bigotry. The racist white supremacist Nick Fuentes has been using "Christ is King" in some of his speeches. Andrew Tate has praised Candace Owens for speaking out after having been "fired" for "being in politics and not supporting Israel."

The impulse to not sound like these distasteful individuals or to be associated with their evil movements is understandable. Indeed, we should not want to sound like them. However, we must be careful that we don't overcorrect and slip into doctrinal error because we don't want to be called racists.

More importantly, we must not let evil men steal from us our doctrine.

This is just another way for Satan to get us to be ashamed of the Gospel message. We must instead declare with St. Paul that we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe, first for the Jew, then for the Greek. Satan would like nothing more than to silence Christians from proclaiming the Gospel truth that Jesus, true God in human flesh, Savior of mankind, is King of the universe.

Despite who says it, or who it makes angry, and what their reasons are, Christ is, indeed, King. He has died for the sins of the world. He has risen from the dead for the justification of those who believe. And He will come again in glory, as King, to be our judge. We Christians are to proclaim this message of the cross, and that there is forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation for all who repent of their sin and believe in Christ.

No matter what, people are going to be offended by the Gospel. It is, as St. Paul says, a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Gentiles. But to we who are being saved it is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

However, maintaining this doctrinal truth in America is not easy. It is difficult to walk the narrow road between the ditch of being labeled an anti-semite on the one side and denying what Christ says about Himself being the only way of salvation for all mankind on the other.

Ben Shapiro shared a post from Robert P. George on X, which gets something very wrong regarding Christianity's teaching on Jews and Judaism and illustrates just what the problem is. The post says:

"For Catholics and other Christians, Holy Week is a time of spiritual preparation for Easter. It is also a time to recall the rootedness of our faith in that of our 'elder brothers' -- the Jewish people, 'whose covenant with God is unbroken and unbreakable.'"

White supremacists saying "Christ is King" in order to encourage the defamation of Jewish people is wrong. That wrong, however, doesn't make what Ben Shapiro posted in response to this controversy true. We Christians must be careful not to go too far in the other direction and act as though we are part of the same religion, or worshipping the same God as the religious Jews. We are not, and we do not. God's special relationship with the physical nation of Israel ended with the coming of Jesus and their rejection of Him.

Jesus teaches plainly of the impending rejection of the nation of Israel by God (Judisch, 1978):

"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce it's fruit" (Matthew 21:43).

Jesus makes this point in His parable of the Great Banquet as well. The Great King prepared his banquet, but the invited guests rejected the invitation and refused to come. The servant reported this to the master, who sent the servant out to the streets and alleys of the town to invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame:

"'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet" (Luke 14:22-24).

God, the Great King, sent the invitation to His great banquet to His chosen guests through Moses and the prophets. John the Baptist came as the herald, announcing that the time had come. The kingdom of God, the preaching of Christ, was at hand. All the invited guests should come to the banquet (Kretzmann, 1921). But Israel, as a whole, rejected the invitation. Jesus turns from the Jews, though He longed to gather them as a hen gathers her chicks because they refused to be gathered. He invites the spiritually blind, poor and lame, tax collectors, sinners, and Gentiles to fill His house.

In Christ all those who repent and believe the good news, Jew and Gentile alike, are united into one body, which is Christ's. Christ's Gospel is indeed the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. And, in Christ, we are Abraham's seed and part of the Israel of God, where there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. We are heirs to God's promise of forgiveness, life, and eternal salvation in Jesus.

The good news is that Christ came to die as the propitiation for the sin of the whole world. That includes everybody, including Jewish people. He offers that forgiveness for sin, life, and salvation to all people through His word and His sacraments. To say that the Jewish people have a special relationship with God because of their ethnic heritage is a false teaching. What is worse is that it makes people of Jewish heritage feel secure because of their bloodline when they are outside of the body of Christ. It gives them hope where there is none, in their flesh. But Jesus says faith in Him is man's only hope:

"...Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believeÿ (John 6:61-64).

Definitively Jesus declares:

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me," (John 14:6).



Judisch, Douglas. 1978. "An Evaluation of Claims to the Charismatic Gifts." Grand Rapids: Baker Book House. The Purpose of the Prophetic Gifts, p. 43.

Kretzman, Paul E.. 1921. "Popular Commentary on the Bible: New Testament Vol. 1." St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, pp. 346-347.

Robinson, William C Harrison, Everett F., et. al., eds. 1999. "Wycliffe Dictionary of Theology." Church. Peabody: Hendrickson Pub.

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