History tells us that kingdoms and empires come and go. So do their kings and emperors. They come and go. In our own days we see leaders come and go. Some are remembered and admired for one good quality or another. Others, unfortunately, will be remembered for their brutality and corruption. We see some leaders rise to power through intimidation and coercion. Even in the so-called democracies where people are supposed to rise to power through the electorate, we sometimes find that people would do and say “whatever” can bring them to power or keep them in power. From the greatest kingdoms and nations to the smallest, history and common experience show that men and women would do whatever would give them control over others, even if by the compromise of the truth (i.e. if we assume there is such a thing as “Truth”). No matter how people rise to power; no matter how nations rise to greatness, they all have one thing in common: they come and go; they rise and fall. No one remains in power forever; and no nation or kingdom will remain forever.
In contrast to these “passing” kings and kingdoms, the Bible says that there is one whose kingdom remains forever: Jesus Christ the Son of God. He is the one the Prophet Daniel speaks of in his visions: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (Dan 7:13-14). Jesus Christ stands absolutely above all our worldly kings and leaders in many ways. He is not just a king. He is THE KING! And his kingdom endures forever. He is king forever, because he is the TRUTH KING! Yes, he is not just a true king, he is the TRUTH KING.
Unlike the leaders of the earth, his kingdom is truth kingdom. As the eternal Son of God, Christ had always been a king. But as the Messiah-King he “became” king through his death and glorious resurrection. He became Leader-Savior-King not through an election or coercion. He did not have to force his way to power; neither did he seek power through the majority. A major feature of his becoming king was Truth. Truth was his only message. In fact, he openly declared that he himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6). For him, therefore, truth was not only a message; it was a Person (Jesus Christ). He himself was the campaign message. Christ was on his way to build a truth kingdom, and only those could be admitted who would accept the Truth and cling to it. By preaching the truth, and only the truth, he would set people free to worship the living God forever (cf. Jn 8:32; “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free”). By teaching the truth, standing for the truth and presenting himself as the truth, Jesus showed that he was going to reign in truth as Truth King. And what was the truth Christ taught? Simply put, it is this: That all men have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; and they are
saved by believing in the Son of God as sent by the Father to become expiation for our sins. The truth upon which we enter the Kingdom of Christ is that we are saved by his Blood; and it is by his Blood that he has made us a kingdom, a holy nation and a royal priesthood (cf. 1Pt 2:9-10; Rev 1:5-6; 5:9-10).
When he appeared before Pilate, Jesus made it clear that his kingdom is not of this world (cf. Jn 18:36). Yes, his kingdom is a truth kingdom, founded on saving truth. Kingdoms will come and go but Christ the Truth will remain. Leaders and kings will come and go, but the Truth will forever reign. By saying that his kingdom was not of this world, the Lord implied that unlike earthly power, his kingdom (founded on truth) shall remain forever. Christ Jesus is an absolutely unique king and leader: His kingdom is built on the everlasting, unchanging truth of God. Whoever wishes to be part of his kingdom, whoever wishes to reign with the Lord must first submit to the Truth (that Jesus is Son of God and Savior of the world). Pilate was astonished when Jesus spoke to him about Truth: “Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” . . .” (Jn 18:37). There could be many people today (leaders and the governed alike) who, like Pilate, have very little, if any, idea what truth is and its value in the whole scheme of humanity’s salvation. Like Pilate, many people today, by their ideologies, patterns of behavior, lifestyle and philosophies also seem to wonder: “What is truth?” The world today is increasingly drifting away from objective, unchanging truths (of the Truth) and settling for relative truths (which are no truths at all). Little wonder worldly kingdoms and powers continue to rise and fall. Where truth becomes relative and subjective, the very survival of humanity is threatened. The Truth of Christ is immutable, and that is why his kingdom remains forever. For where there is Truth, there is God; where there is Truth, there is eternity. Christ, the Truth King is the answer to the question “What is truth?”.
Across the Catholic world today we celebrate the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. It is a celebration of Truth, that Truth which lasts forever. The celebration is a bold proclamation that Jesus Christ is the Truth King. We invite whoever wants to reign forever to consider submitting to the sweet, liberating truth of Christ. Behold, the Truth King!
Invitation to Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that you are the King of the Universe and Savior of the world. I ask you to forgive me the times that I have not submitted to your sweet authority. Cleanse me in your Blood and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I choose to live by your Truth that I might reign with you forever. Amen.