Yes, I am a king. I was born for this; I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voices.

This is the unequivocal statement Jesus gives to Pilate’s question, “So you are a king then?” as he stood before his interrogator in those final moments before his sentence.

Some of us may struggle with the image, or rather the reality of Jesus as a king, particularly as we are more readily inclined to identify him as the humble shepherd caring for his sheep and ready to lay down his life for them, the suffering servant, the Lamb of God. Most of us, I think, would be more comfortable as friends, brothers and sisters, disciples of Jesus Christ and children of God, rather than the more remote, less intimate relationship that being a subject, a sub-ordinate entails. It doesn’t help of course, when the example of many kings and queens throughout history has been one of power, wealth, privilege and pageantry.

But of course, what we need to remember is that Jesus Christ is a king totally different from any other; who came into the world to bear witness to the truth and as ‘the faithful witness’, the First-born from the dead, to wash away our sins with his blood. Here we have the reality of the servant king bringing us the truth that will set us free.

It has been said that when Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King’ in 1925, he did so as an antidote to secularism which is the belief that God should be omitted from everyday life, that the state, morals, education etc should be independent of religion. This feast day instituted by Pope Pius proclaims Christ’s sovereignty over individuals, families, societies, governments and nations. After the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI went further renaming the feast ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe’. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the King of the entire creation, and we as his loyal subjects, not remote but abiding in his love, should proclaim that truth.