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Was Jesus King of the Jews? (Y1.T2.D58)

Pexels; "R. Fera"


Yes, Jesus was the promised Messiah—aka King of the Jews.

Consider the following paragraph from christianity.com about Jesus, the true king of Israel:

After Saul had disobeyed the Lord and been rejected by God as king (1 Samuel 15), God anointed David (1 Samuel 16) and promised that out of David’s line, a new, anointed king would come to redeem Israel and establish his rightful place on the throne of Israel (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Isaiah 11:1-5). This, of course, was the prophesied Messiah, who the Gospels confirm was Jesus, a descendent of David (Matthew 1:1, John 7:42).

Jesus' role as King of the Jews referred to a spiritual kingship and not an earthly one (John 18:36), something his accusers didn't or wouldn't accept. They offered this evidence to Pilate because they understood the jealousy of sovereigns in their world.

Remember the reaction of Herod the Great (father of Herod Antipas who ruled Galilee and is referenced in today's passages)? When wise men from the east came to him and asked, "Where is he who is born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2), he killed "all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding countryside, from two years old and under, according to the exact time which he had learned from the wise men" (Matthew 2:16).

Jesus knew that by admitting to the Sanhedrin he was the son of God, they would want to kill him. And he knew that admitting he was King of the Jews was an executable offense by Rome. And he refused to deny the truth because we needed a Savior. Jesus was more than just the King of the Jews—he was and is the King of kings (Revelation 19:16).

You Are My King

11a Now Jesus stood before the governor; (Matthew 27:11a)

29 Pilate therefore went out to them, and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”

30 They answered him, “If this man weren’t an evildoer, we wouldn’t have delivered him up to you.”

31 Pilate therefore said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”

Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is illegal for us to put anyone to death,” 32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying by what kind of death he should die. (John 18:29–32)

10 “Now I will arise,” says Yahweh.

“Now I will lift myself up.

Now I will be exalted.

11 You will conceive chaff.

You will give birth to stubble.

Your breath is a fire that will devour you.

12 The peoples will be like the burning of lime,

like thorns that are cut down and burned in the fire.

13 Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;

and, you who are near, acknowledge my might.”

14 The sinners in Zion are afraid.

Trembling has seized the godless ones.

Who among us can live with the devouring fire?

Who among us can live with everlasting burning?

15 He who walks righteously

and speaks blamelessly,

he who despises the gain of oppressions,

who gestures with his hands, refusing to take a bribe,

who stops his ears from hearing of blood,

and shuts his eyes from looking at evil—

16 he will dwell on high.

His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks.

His bread will be supplied.

His waters will be sure.

17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty.

They will see a distant land.

18 Your heart will meditate on the terror.

Where is he who counted?

Where is he who weighed?

Where is he who counted the towers?

19 You will no longer see the fierce people,

a people of a deep speech that you can’t comprehend,

with a strange language that you can’t understand.

20 Look at Zion, the city of our appointed festivals.

Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation,

a tent that won’t be removed.

Its stakes will never be plucked up,

nor will any of its cords be broken.

21 But there Yahweh will be with us in majesty,

a place of wide rivers and streams,

in which no galley with oars will go,

neither will any gallant ship pass by there.

22 For Yahweh is our judge.

Yahweh is our lawgiver.

Yahweh is our king.

He will save us.

23 Your rigging is untied.

They couldn’t strengthen the foot of their mast.

They couldn’t spread the sail.

Then the prey of a great plunder was divided.

The lame took the prey.

24 The inhabitant won’t say, “I am sick.”

The people who dwell therein will be forgiven their iniquity. (Isaiah 33:10–24)

2 They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting the nation, forbidding paying taxes to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” (Luke 23:2)

Matthew 27:11b, Mark 15:2a, Luke 23:3a, John 18:33

34 Jesus answered him, “Do you say this by yourself, or did others tell you about me?”

35 Pilate answered, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered you to me. What have you done?”

36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight, that I wouldn’t be delivered to the Jews. But now my Kingdom is not from here.”

37a Pilate therefore said to him, “Are you a king then?” (John 18:34–37a)

Matthew 27:11c, Mark 15:2b, Luke 23:3b, John 18:37b

37c For this reason I have been born, and for this reason I have come into the world, that I should testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37b–38a)

Matthew 27:12–14, Mark 15:3–5

Luke 23:4, John 18:38b

5 But they insisted, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee even to this place.” 6 But when Pilate heard Galilee mentioned, he asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 When he found out that he was in Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days.

8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad, for he had wanted to see him for a long time, because he had heard many things about him. He hoped to see some miracle done by him. 9 He questioned him with many words, but he gave no answers. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood, vehemently accusing him. 11 Herod with his soldiers humiliated him and mocked him. Dressing him in luxurious clothing, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before that they were enemies with each other. (Luke 23:5–12)

11 But you, man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses. 13 I command you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate testified the good confession, 14 that you keep the commandment without spot, blameless, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which in its own times he will show, who is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. 16 He alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:11–16)

Meditation Moment

Dear God,

I praise You, my King. The radiance of Your glory upholds all things by the word of Your power when You purified me of my sins, then sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3). I believe that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth (Philippians 2:10). This is the reason I bow before You (Ephesians 3:14).


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