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Appreciating Our Lutheran Hymns

O Jesus, King Of Glory

An Epiphany Hymn

#130 in The Lutheran Hymnal

Many fine hymns have been written during times of great trial, for such times turn us to the Lord’s Word for comfort and strength, with the result that we grow in knowledge and faith. It is not surprising that hymnwriters have been moved in times of trial to compose expressions of devotion and praise.

One hymnwriter who labored during difficult times was Martin Behm (1557-1622), author of three hymns in The Lutheran Hymnal: “Lord Jesus Christ, My Life, My Light” (#148), one of many that he wrote on our Lord’s passion; “O Blessed, Holy Trinity” (#541); and the Epiphany hymn, “O Jesus, King of Glory.” Behm was a Lutheran pastor in Lauban, Silesia, where he served during times of famine (1590), pestilence (1616), and war (1619).

“O Jesus, King of Glory” is based on the Gospel for Epiphany, Matthew 2:1-12, the account of the coming of the Magi from the East to worship the child Jesus. This hymn beautifully expresses what was revealed to the Magi, that concealed in the humanity of the child Jesus is the glory of the Son of God, the world’s Savior. Just as the star came and stood over where the young child was, so also the prophetic Word points to Jesus, leading us to hail Him joyously as our King and Savior.

This great Epiphany hymn is a source of strength and comfort, even in times of trial, for it sets before us our Savior in His glory and beauty. It leads us who are weak and poor to call upon Him in faith. “I pray Thee, guide and keep me Safe from my bitter foes, From sin and death and Satan; Free me from all my woes.”

–Pastor John Klatt