Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" (John 18:33 NKJV)
Jesus suffered physical, emotional and psychological stresses during his last days on earth. These stresses were partly due to the torture, and false accusations he endured at the hands of his captors. He was accused of making himself a King. Though, by all standards, Jesus is truly a King; however, he did not openly, in an arrogant manner declared himself as such.
Before Jesus was born, the Jews were ruled by the Romans; and so, to find Jesus guilty, the religious leaders had to accuse him of making himself a King. Such accusation will make him an enemy of the Roman government, because, Caesar would see him as his rival; a plan that will also give them (the religious leaders) sympathetic ear before Pilate. Hence, Pilate’s question to Jesus; “Are You the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33b) Jesus retorted; “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” (John 18:34)
Long before Jesus was born, the Prophet Zechariah said;
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Low ly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).
This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus rode on a donkey during his triumphal entry to Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-5).
Jesus is fully God; and fully Man when he came to this world. This means that, even before he was conceived, he was King; a title he holds during and after his ministry in this world. In his further response to Pilate, (Jesus) said; “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36).
While in this world, Jesus exhibited his Kingship through his preaching, teaching and healing ministries. Whatever he did and said confirmed him as God – the One who created and controls the universe. On the contrary, the religious leaders of his day intentionally ignored and impugned his status as the Son of God. Their jealousy of him increased as they saw his popularity rise with huge crowd following him wherever he went. They were jealous of seeing him heal the sick and casting out demons, to the point of accusing him of casting out demons by Beelzebub (Matthew 12:27). Because of jealousy, they asked him to tell his disciples and the crowd to keep quiet; when they were praising God for all the mighty works he has done amongst them (Luke 19:37-40).
It’s sad to note that, God through his prophets told his people (the Jews) about the signs that will confirm the identity of the Messiah, even before he was born; but they chose not to believe. To this day, many Jews are still looking forward to the coming of another Messiah. Similarly, today, many hunger in their heart; while others would ask by way of mocking Jesus and the cause of Christianity.
The truth is, no matter what peoples’ motives might be by echoing Pilate’s question, Jesus has always been and will continue to be the King. His desire is to see all of us accept him as the King of our lives.
As always, let’s continue to hold each other’s hand and pray for ourselves as the coming of Jesus draws closer. Please, do send this study to your contacts as well.
Dr. Charles Mantey
Disiciples Revival Church
NOTE: My second book titled: Understanding Love: Biblical & Cultural Perspectives has just being released. This is a great study material on love. Get your copy at Amazon.
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