WHO IS THE KING OF THE JEWS?
By: Dr. Frederick France
A thought-provoking phenomenon occurred when Jesus was born in Bethlehem in a manger. Some men described in Scriptures as ‘wise men’ travelled all the way from the east not just to worship the baby Jesus avidly but to also give Him a title: KING OF THE JEWS!
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” – Matthew 2:1-2.
Two mind-boggling issues ring bells in the actions of these ‘wise men’. (1) They worshipped Jesus. (2) They called Him “King of the Jews”. If the Scriptures described these men as wise men, then it goes to mean that their action was not superficial. What they did calls for a deeper study. This is what inspired today’s topic: Who is the king of the Jews?
THEY WORSHIPPED JESUS.
It is noteworthy that the Jews do not play around with the issue of worship because God has warned them not to: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath. : Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, …for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” – Exodus 20:4-5.
The Jews worshipped only God! This belief is what got Mordecai into trouble in his days. Mordecai refused to worship Haman as others did simply because he was a Jew. “And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.”- Esther 3:2-4.
Jews do not worship nor accept worship from men! They worship God only! If the wise men called Jesus ‘King of the Jews’ and also worshipped Him, then they are telling us Jesus is God and must be worshipped!
IS JESUS KING OF THE JEWS?
To answer this question, we will need to cast our minds back to what transpired when the Jews requested for the first human king from the prophet Samuel. Samuel registered his displeasure about their request but God told him to grant the Jews their request because they had not rejected Samuel but Him. “But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them”. – 1 Sam 8:6-7.
This scripture clearly shows that the Almighty God is the original king of the Jews. Hear our God again in Hosea 13:9-11: “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? And thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath”.
God indicated in the above Scripture that He is the King of the Jews; hence when the Jews requested for a human king, He was angry with them. By giving the baby Jesus the title “King of the Jews”, the wise men were telling the world that Jesus is the original King of the Jews – the Almighty God Himself who has come among men to take His title! (Remember He will never give His glory to another – Isaiah 42:8). God was in other words telling the Jews that, “if it is a human king you want then I have come as a human to wear my own crown!”
To establish this mystery, Jesus did not just take this title at birth, He also took it away at death! “And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, what I have written I have written.” – John 19:19-22. If God Almighty is the King of the Jews, then Jesus is God Almighty!
The Jews could coax Pilate to crucify Him but could not coax him to remove His title. The jealous King of the Jews will never give His glory to another! This clearly shows that Jesus Christ is indeed God Almighty who, among other things ,came disguised as a man to take His title among men! Isaiah 45:15 says “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour”. Jesus our saviour is the Almighty God that ‘hid Himself’ as a man! There is no controversy about this. 1 Timothy 3:16 gives a summarized picture of Jesus’ life on earth. It says “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory”. Isaiah 43:10-11 also says “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.”
When we replace the unscriptural word ‘Trinity’ with the scriptural word ‘Diversity’ (1 Corinthians 12:6), it will be quite clear that, Jesus, the ‘King of the Jews’ is none but God Almighty Himself who came in the flesh to establish His sovereignty even among men! Hallelujah! Jesus is God Almighty!