WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 12, 2022
TOPIC: JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS AND THE WORLD
BY T. O. BANSO
“And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they struck Him with their hands” (John 19:2-3 New King James Version).
Many things were wrong about the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ but this is not our focus today. Needless to say that everything happened so that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Jesus must be crucified for the sins of the world.
At the time of the arrest of Jesus, it was unlawful for the Jews to put anyone to death (John 18:31b). Therefore, they had to get Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, involved. This would also help them to hide under the authority of Rome to kill Him. However, their charge of blasphemy (Jesus calling Himself the Son of God) would not interest Pilate because they had nothing to do with the Roman government. Therefore, they brought Him before Pilate with a new charge of treason. Unfortunately, they couldn’t convince Pilate.
They said, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King” (Luke 23:2 New King James Version). That’s not true. Jesus didn’t forbid the payment of taxes or publicly declare Himself a King (Matthew 22:21). The Jewish leaders reinforced their charge against Jesus by saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place” (verse Luke 23:5 New King James Version). That’s another lie. Jesus never made trouble among the people.
John 18:33-35 says, “Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?’” (New King James Version)
The conversation continued: “Jesus answered, ‘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.’ Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice’” (verses 36-37 New King James Version)
The Jews had for long been awaiting the Messiah, a political Messiah who would restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). Messiah means the anointed one. Kings were anointed. But Jesus wasn’t an earthly king. He wasn’t a political Messiah that would lead a rebellion against Rome. For example, there was a time when Jesus perceived that people were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king. But He departed to the mountain by Himself alone (John 6:15). If He were an earthly king, He would have seized that opportunity.
Although Pilate didn’t find Jesus guilty of the charge of treason and sought to release Him, the Jewish leaders tried to blackmail him. They said if he set Him free, he was not Caesar’s friend and whoever made himself a king spoke against Caesar (John 19:12). Thus, Pilate succumbed to their pressure and asked if he should crucify their king. The chief priests answered that they had no king but Caesar. Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. They took Jesus and led Him away (verse 15-16).
All the four Gospels record a reference to Jesus as the King of the Jews during His trial and crucifixion (Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3, 37; John 19:3, 21). But Jesus is not the King of only the Jews; He is the king of all. He is the King of the world.
Earlier in John 19:1-3, before Pilate delivered Jesus to the chief priests to be crucified, the Bible says, “So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they struck Him with their hands” (New King James Version). Although the Roman soldiers were mocking Jesus, they acknowledged Him as the King of the Jews!
In verse 19, the Bible says that Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross, saying, “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” That was the charge against Jesus and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. However, the chief priests of the Jews told Pilate not to write, “The King of the Jews,” but, “He said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” In other words, they rejected Jesus as their king. Nevertheless, Pilate refused, saying that what he had written, he had written (verses 20-22). Till today, there are Jews who don’t believe in Jesus as the Messiah; they’re still expecting the promised Messiah.
The wise men were non-Jews. But while they were looking for Jesus after His birth, they referred to Him as the born King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2). Most probably, they also thought He would be a political ruler. Herod thought like that too. Therefore, he saw His birth as a threat to His throne and tried to kill Him (Matthew 2:3, 16-18). But he was wrong. Jesus was not after his throne. He would rather reign in his heart. Herod couldn’t kill Jesus.
Jesus is the King of the Jews but not the type of political ruler the Jews were waiting for. That would be a demotion. Jesus was not only the king of the Jews; He is also the King of kings, and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14). God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Now, Jesus wants to reign in our hearts.
God gave Jesus to the world, not to the Jews only. As Romans 3:29 says, God is not the God of the Jews only; He is also the God of the Gentiles. Jesus was born as a Jew but He is the Saviour of the world. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that salvation came through the Jews or was of the Jews (John 4:22). But salvation is for the world. John 3:17 says for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. When the Jews rejected Him, the Gentiles received Him.
John 1:10-13 says, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (New King James Version). But the door of salvation is not permanently shut against the Jews because God wants all men saved (1Timothy 2:4).
Jesus is the King of the Jews and the world. Have you invited Him into your heart? Is He enthroned in your heart?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Jesus, You are my Lord and King; reign in my heart today and forever. I pray that as many as are yet to surrender their lives to Jesus will do so and Jesus will reign as king in their hearts. Father, let Your Kingdom come; let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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