The Faithful Witness and Faithful King

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In the beginning of Revelation, the last book of the Bible detailing events prior to Jesus Christ’s return to Earth, John the Apostle gives his greetings to the readers of the letter “…from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.” (Rev 1:5) In this one sentence, John lays out not only the future role of Jesus Christ as King over all the nations, but also some of the key traits that make Him qualified for that role. You may be familiar with the concept of faith, the inherent belief that God will do as He has promised. So what is faithfulness, and why is it so important to Jesus’ qualifications to be ruler of kings?

To be faithful is to be consistent and unwavering in the responsibilities one is tasked with. Perhaps you’ve been to a wedding where the bride and groom vowed to be faithful to one another. Their responsibility is to love and care for each other, and by promising to be faithful they are promising to honor that commitment – even when it’s difficult to do. Which raises the question - how was Jesus Christ faithful, and to whom was He faithful? In the letter to the Hebrews, we are told this concerning the faithfulness of Jesus Christ:

“Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's house.” (Heb 3:1-2 ESV)

The writer goes on further to say:

“Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” (Heb 3:5-6 ESV)

So here we read that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, appointed by His Father to be head of His house. And he passed with flying colors! We’re told in Paul’s letter to the Philippians that he was “obedient, even to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Php 2:8 ESV). And he was rewarded for this faithfulness to God, even to the point of losing his own life, by being raised from the dead to eternal life! This is why in Revelation Jesus Christ is not only called a faithful witness, but also the firstborn of the dead. Paul continues in his letter, explaining what reward Jesus Christ received for being faithful to God.

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Php 2:9-11 ESV)

So what does that mean for His qualifications to reign as King? It means He’s going to be consistent, and won’t ever waver on what He intends to do. How often do you get frustrated whenever you hear a politician turn his back on a promise they made? How often do you get your spirits lifted up by someone who promises change, only to be disappointed yet again? Jesus Christ won’t turn His back on what God promised us. And if you turn to God, Jesus won’t turn His back on you, either. Start today by reading the Bible, to find out what God has in store for the world and for you. And when you discover that for yourself, hang on to it with everything you’ve got!

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”(Heb 10:23 ESV)

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