Sovereign Over All

The New Testament applies messianic promises in the Psalms to the present reign of Jesus who possesses all authority. The Nazarene has reigned as sole sovereign over the earth since his death, resurrection, and ascension. Already he sits on the messianic throne of David. Because of his obedient death, God resurrected and installed him as the ruler over all things, including the nations of the earth.

Before his ascension, Jesus declared that God had granted him all authority whether in heaven or on earth. Thus, his sovereignty is WITHOUT LIMITS - “ALL authority in heaven and on earth is given to me” - (Matthew 28:18-20).

In Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” In response, Peter declared, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus then disclosed what it means to be the Messiah of Israel. He must “go to Jerusalem and suffer many things of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed,” though God would resurrect him on the third day. Before kingship, he was called to become the Suffering Servant of Yahweh - (Matthew 16:13-28, Isaiah 53:1-12).


Both then and now, Jesus summons his disciples to follow HIS PATH by denying themselves and “taking up the cross” daily in obedience and self-sacrificial service. By its very nature, discipleship often entails unjust suffering.

And in the gospel of Mark, the Son of God is not recognized as such by any human being until his death on a Roman cross. But God raised him from the dead, and one day he will return in glory to judge all things. However, before his exaltation, he had to endure unjust suffering at the hands of unrighteous Jews and Gentiles.

At one point, Jesus promised that some of his disciples would not die until they saw the “Son of man coming in his kingdom,” a clause that alludes to a vision in the book of Daniel:

  • I continued looking in the visions of the night, when, behold, WITH THE CLOUDS OF THE HEAVENS, ONE LIKE A SON OF MAN WAS COMING, and to the Ancient of days he approached, and before him, they brought him near; and to him were given dominion and dignity and kingship, that all peoples, races, and tongues unto him should do service, his dominion was an everlasting dominion ” – (Daniel 7:13-14).


It was after his resurrection that Jesus announced his receipt of “all authority in heaven and on earth.” As the enthroned Messiah, he possesses this all-encompassing sovereignty both IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH, and this dramatic change was foreseen by the Prophet Daniel. And his declaration just prior to his ascension also echoes the messianic prophecy from the second Psalm:

  • (Psalm 2:7-8) – “Let me tell of a decree, Yahweh said to me, You are my son. I, this day, have begotten you. ASK OF ME AND LET ME GIVE NATIONS AS YOUR INHERITANCE, AND AS YOUR POSSESSION, THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.”

And his possession of absolute authority is precisely why Jesus now commands his disciples to proclaim the gospel TO ALL NATIONS, to the ends of the earth.

From now on, he is the king and sovereign over all the nations, including the “kings of the earth,” and his disciples are dispatched as his envoys to proclaim his reign over all things. All men are called to submit to his lordship while time remains before the judgment - (Revelation 1:5-6).

And it is because of his faithfulness in death that God raised him from the dead and made him absolute Lord:

  • (Acts 2:34-36) – “Assuredly, then, let all the house of Israel know that God has MADE HIM BOTH LORD AND MESSIAH, EVEN THE SAME JESUS WHOM YOU CRUCIFIED.
  • (Ephesians 1:20-22) – “Which he energized in the Christ when HE RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD and seated him at his right hand in the heavenlies, OVER-ABOVE ALL PRINCIPALITY, AUTHORITY, AND POWER, AND LORDSHIP, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the coming one. And did PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION BENEATH HIS FEET. And gave him to be head over all things unto the assembly.

Thus, already, Jesus has all the authority necessary to reign over the earth, indeed, over the entire created order. And he is doing so. He is the “Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes,” an image that points to his complete power and knowledge. He is not waiting to receive sovereignty at some future point, and there is nothing that is beyond his reach.

From now on, anyone who rejects the gospel message announced by his heralds defies his sovereignty and aligns him or herself with the “nations that rage” against Yahweh’s Messiah - (Psalm 2:1-2).



The Suffering Servant

The Living Word