September 1 – Names of Jesus – King of the Jews

Read John 19:1-22

“Jesus the Nazarene. King of the Jews”

Written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek that sign above the head of our crucified Savior proclaimed His identity. Was it written tongue in cheek or did Pilate somehow write that as a personal conviction?

Good question.

People seemed to have been united around the idea that Jesus was from Nazareth. No one questioned the fact that Mary and Joseph had raised Him in that village. But “King of the Jews”? That was a title that the chief priests protested. They wanted it softened to make it clear that it was only a claim made by Jesus. “King of the Jews” had been a title that the soldiers used in jest. They dressed Him in a robe, pressed a crown of thorns on His head, and gave Him a staff to represent a scepter. They proceeded to mock Him as they knelt before Him and cried out “King of the Jews” (Matt. 27:27-31).

Still, Pilate stuck with the wording of the sign and demanded that it remain unchanged.
Is Jesus really “King of the Jews”?

The answer takes us as far back as the days of King David. David yearned to build a house for God that would later be called the temple. God responded by telling David that he was not to build it. Instead, his son, Solomon, would be the man. God did promise David, however, “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever (2 Sam. 7:16).” People call this promise the David Covenant. With that promise concerning the throne, God was pointing through the corridors of time to the eventual and eternal reign of Jesus Christ. He is the King of the Jews. His reign as king will be clear when He returns at His second coming (after a period of about seven years called the Tribulation).

Jesus is the King of the Jews! But His kingdom is not just one for the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is one that all believers are to pray for (Matt. 6:10). Every believer has been transferred from a domain of darkness into Christ’s kingdom (Col. 1:13).

The important question for you now is one of whether you honor and surrender to Him daily. Does your life reflect day to day submission that places the sign over Him as your king?

Steve Kern

Questions to consider

  • What does this name of Jesus mean for you in your life?
  • Would you say that Jesus is King in your life?
  • Who are people that you know that need to place the sign over Him in their lives? How are you helping them see their need for a Savior?
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