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Jesus, Kingship


From Jesus’ birth to his ascension, people considered him the king of Israel.

1. At the birth of Jesus, when the Magi arrived at King Herod’s palace, their question was, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage” (Mt 2:2).

2. When Nathanael first met Jesus, he professed his faith in Jesus saying, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel” (Jn 1:49)

3. After Jesus had fed five thousand men with five barley loaves and two fish, the people said, “‘This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.’ Since Jesus knew they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone” (Jn 6:14-15).

4. Zebedee’s wife Salome approached Jesus with her two sons and a request: “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom” (Mt 20:21). Implicitly, she and her sons believed he was about to establish his kingdom.

5. While the people solemnly welcomed Jesus in the Temple waving palm branches, they cried out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, [even] the king of Israel” (Jn 12:13; Lk 19:38).

6. When Pilate’s soldiers mocked Jesus with a crown of thorns and dressed him in a purple cloak, they saluted him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (Jn 19:3).

7. “Pilate also had an inscription written and put atop the cross. It read, ‘Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews’” (Jn 19:19).

8. While Jesus was on the cross, the chief priests and the scribes mocked him, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe” (Mk 15:31-32).

9. One criminal crucified with Jesus mocked him, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel!” (Mt 27:42).

10. Before the ascension of Jesus, the disciples asked him: “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).

Those who mocked Jesus as king knew the widespread belief of the people that Jesus was their king. However, those who accepted Jesus as the Son of God or the Messiah were uncertain what type of king Jesus was.

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