Jesus: Lion of the tribe of Judah
Perhaps few of us who know that Jesus is the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” realize that this title from Revelation 5:5 recalls the death-bed prophecy of Jacob in Genesis 49:9. The patriarch’s metaphor emphasizes the unrivaled strength and ferocity of the lion after a fresh kill. Just you try to take that antelope away from the big cat, and find out what happens! The lion will be wakeful and zealous to keep what he’s taken. Hyenas beware!
I suddenly realized that Jesus must have that same lion’s attitude toward the redeemed. He has not been passive in His quest for souls. He did not wait for us to walk into the synagogue or temple. “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost,” He announced at the dinner table of Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19:10). He approved of the shepherd who would “leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it” (Luke 15:4). Those He has saved are said to be His captives (2 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 4:8).
Do you think, after all of that effort in seeking and taking us captive, that Jesus will let go of us easily? He will fight to keep us now that He has us. As James 4:5 reveals, “He jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us.” If we will work WITH Him, rather than against Him, He will keep us safe, secure in His ferocious love.