39. An Interesting Question
Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33)
I wonder how Jesus felt having to be dragged into the Praetorium? Unlike the Pharisees, it probably didn’t even enter His mind. So battered and manhandled was He. And He knew more was coming. Could He feel the sins of the world gathering together to crush Him? Or was He thinking: Uh, no, no guys. I can’t go in there. I’ll become unclean! The magnitude of Him becoming the sacrifice for our sin precluded such thinking; and coming up with an excuse like the Pharisees would have never entered His mind.
Anyway, Jesus is summoned into the Praetorium, a place where no self-respecting Pharisee would be caught. But wasn’t that the hallmark of Christ’s life? Going where no self-righteous legalistic person would ever go? Hanging out with and consorting with tax collectors and sinners? But I ask: If Christ did not go into such places, how would the prisoners be set free? He did not need to be summoned; He would have willingly walked in, because that is where He found you and me!
It’s an interesting question, Are You the King of the Jews? Only two people have used this term: King of the Jews; Pilate and one of the Magi. It’s a title and a question that spans the human lifetime of Christ, from birth to death.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. ( Matt 2:1-3)
We find more than merely earnest seekers asking the question of Herod. These Magi had traveled hundreds of miles, following a star based on prophecies left behind by Daniel and Jewish elders generations earlier, and they were the ones ordained to be at the right place and the right time, asking the right question.
It’s interesting to note this name is used only by foreigners. Have we become so ingrown and myopic that we need to be reminded from the outside just Who this Jesus is?
Father, whatever it takes, may I know the One and Only, True Son of God. The king of the Jews, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and the King of my life. And knowing Him, may I serve my King with the all the love and obedience I can give. Amen.