The Glorious Sovereignty of Jesus Christ
That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Perhaps one of the best things to happen among Christians in the last few decades is that we have come to know Jesus as our friend. Those who grew up with a distant, judgmental, harsh, and demanding Jesus have discovered the joy of knowing that Jesus has chosen them to be his friends (John 15:13-15). If Jesus is our friend, then we can enjoy his company and speak with him openly, even as he openly teaches us divine truths. If Jesus is our friend, we don't have to be afraid of him or to run from his presence. To be sure, it's a wonderful thing to know Jesus as our friend.
Yet, sometimes we have become so enamored with relating to Jesus as our friend that we have forgotten who this friend really is. Ephesians 1:19-23 serves as a corrective to our tendency to reduce Jesus to merely a nice guy, someone with whom we want to hang around. This passage reminds us of the glorious sovereignty of Jesus Christ. We see this royal authority as God the Father "raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come" (1:20-21).
The Jesus who is our friend is also "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 17:14). The one with whom we speak freely, sharing our deepest secrets, is also the one who rules over all creation. Thus, he is utterly worthy of our utter submission and our humble worship.
None of this negates the wonderful truth of our friendship with Jesus. But it reminds us that our relationship with him must reflect all who he is. If we relate to Jesus only as a friend, we easily neglect our duty to submit our lives to him. If we relate to Jesus only as a supreme authority, we easily lose the invitation to know him intimately and to delight in his friendship. Our Scripture passage today encourages us to know Jesus more fully and to offer our lives to him more completely.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what ways does your relationship with Jesus reflect the fact that he is your friend? In what ways does your relationship with Jesus reflect the fact that he is King of kings? What helps you to keep these realities in balance, to know Jesus fully?
PRAYER: My Lord, Jesus Christ, what a privilege it is to know you. Thank you for revealing yourself to me, for saving me, for knowing me, for calling me your friend.
Forgive me, Lord, when my relationship with you becomes unbalanced, when I emphasize parts of who you are and neglect the others. Today, I am reminded of your glorious sovereignty, your authority over all things, your royal power. I am encouraged to offer my life to you once again, to be your servant, to bow before you in humble worship.
All praise and glory be to you, O Christ, because you are enthroned far above all rule and authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. I honor you today as King of kings and Lord of lords. Even as I do so with my lips and thoughts, may I do so with my life and actions. Amen.