King of the Jews
By David Feddes


King of the Jews (Matthew 27; Mark 15)

  •  “Are you the King of the Jews?”
  • “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”
  • “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?”
  • “Hail, King of the Jews!”
  • The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”
  • “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” 

King of the Jews

  • Jesus’ Jewishness
  • Jesus’ kingship

Jesus the Jew

  • Born Jewish, raised Jewish, homeland
  • Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth
  • Circumcision, synagogue, temple
  • Jewish Scriptures, prophecies, hopes
  • Jewish rabbi, prophet, Messiah
  • Jewish shepherds, apostles, women, early church, mission network
  • Gospel is “first for the Jews”

A Jew for Jews

  • Mary: “He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.” (Luke 1:54-55)
  • Nathaniel: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (John 1:49)
  • Did God reject his people? By no means! (Romans 11:1)
  • “I am the way… No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

A Jew for Gentiles

  • “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” (Genesis 28:14).
  • “Salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22)
  • Jesus’ Jewishness matters for Gentiles:

    • Relating to Jews: “Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye.” (Zech 2:8)
    • Relating to God
    • Continuity of history
    • Unity and value of both Testaments

King of the Jews

  • Jesus’ Jewishness
  • Jesus’ kingship

Kingdom comes near

Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)

“If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Luke 11:20)

Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. (John 6:15)

David and Solomon  

  • Victory over foreign powers
  • Building God’s temple

Judah the Hammer 

  • Led three-year campaign against foreign occupation
  • Cleansed temple in 164 B.C.
  • Still celebrated at Hanukkah

Herod the Great 

  • Declared King of Judea in 40 B.C.
  • Led three year campaign against Parthian invaders
  • Rebuilt the temple and dedicated it

Is Herod the desired ruler?

Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, ruled during Jesus’ ministry. Antipas’s symbol was a reed that grows beside the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. (Matthew 11:7-9)

Supreme King and Son of God
Augustus Tiberius Caesar, son of the Divine Augustus. Chief Priest (Pontifex Maximus)

Accused of treason

They began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.” (Luke 23:2)

Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” (John 19:12)

Different kind of kingship

 “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (John 18:36)

Different kind of kingship

  • Jesus’ main battle is not against Rome but against sin, death, and Satan.
  • God is becoming king on earth as in heaven through Jesus.
  • His kingship is active now in forgiving, healing, and transforming, not in forcing his reign upon people.
  • When King Jesus comes again, he will come in glory and power.

Three figures predicted by the prophets

  • A king, the Messiah, Son of David, will defeat enemies and rule wisely and well.
  • Yahweh, the Lord himself, will come as ruler and shepherd of Israel.
  • A humble, unimpressive servant will suffer rejection, torture, and death for sins that others have committed.
  • Nobody imagined that the king, the Lord, and the servant could be the same person.

King and Lord

 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.” (Jeremiah 23:5-7)

Arm of the Lord: Ruling King, suffering servant

 The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God… Who has believed our message  and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed… He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering… He was pierced for our transgressions (Isaiah 52-53).

A ridiculous king?

  • Pilate thinks Jesus has no power.
  • Herod and his soldiers mock the king.
  • Pilate’s soldier’s mock the king.
  • The crowds and priests mock the king.
  • The king dies in disgrace
  • Is there anyone who doesn’t think it’s ridiculous to call Jesus king?

Sins may be wiped out

 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed… Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. (Acts 3:13-20)

Last modified: Monday, July 24, 2023, 4:25 PM