Who is the King?

Pilate offers Jesus to the crowd

We’re going to continue in Mark this Sunday…we’ll be looking at Mark 15:1-20.

The Jewish leaders have concluded their judgement of Jesus, and believe Him deserving of death.  They, however, don’t have the authority to put someone to death because they are under Roman rule.  Their difficulty is now to convince the Roman governor, Pilate,  who has jurisdiction over Jerusalem to condemn Jesus to the death sentence.

They have condemned Jesus as deserving of death because of blasphemy, but they know that will never wash with a Roman ruler.  So, they focus on the one thing sure to get Pilate’s attention, and that is the claim to be the King of the Jewish people.  Why would that get Pilate’s attention?

When Pilate asks Jesus about this claim, Jesus, in the original language, says essentially: “That’s what you say.”  Why does Jesus seem so non-committal in His answer?  Maybe John’s version of this encounter sheds some light on it: John 18:36-37.

Things get exposed in glaring detail the nearer we get to the cross.  Pilate sees why the religious leaders want Jesus killed (v10).  What were their motives?  Why THOSE motives?  What does this tell us about their thought of Jesus as king?

What does Pilate marvel at (v5)?  Why do you think this causes him to wonder in admiration?  What was he looking for in a king?

Why did the crowd choose the way they did?  What made the difference between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and this moment?  What were they looking for in a king?

Why do the soldiers treat Jesus the way they do?  What has them so riled up?  What possible motive can they have for this level of cruelty?  What do they reveal about their view of Jesus as king?

What is the center of this trial?  What is the crucial question asked?  Have we asked that question when it comes to our lives? 

See you Sunday!

5 thoughts on “Who is the King?

  1. It seems to me everyone is “jealous” of Jesus and his authority. The Priests are jealous, Pilate is impressed and jealous, even the soldiers are jealous. But the people seem to be blindsighted and it doesn’t make sense to me that they turn on Jesus just because the Jewish leaders tell them to. How can they not see that the leaders are wrong? Even Pilot understood what this was about but was a coward and was afraid to “rock the boat”. This makes me look deep into my heart and ask myself, “Am I loyal to My King?”

  2. When you talk about how “riled up” everyone was, it reminds me of the emotional reaction against Jews/Isreal. It seems to be a spiritual war, we just observe some physical effects.

  3. Do you think the Jewish people were embarraseed of Jesus being called “King of the Jews”? It seems there was so much predjudice and separation and Jesus was such a threat to that separation of the cultures. Really makes me realize that my King’s kingdom has no boundaries and everyone is accepted.

  4. Jesus responds as a King when Pilate interrogates him by speaking calmly about his kingdom. He is a King not from this world, quite different from any earthly king. He is a gentle, relationtional King. Our King is so amazing!!!

  5. This part of scripture always “riles” me. It seems like the Sadducees and Pharisees must be blind and that the soldiers(Temple Guards) must be equally as blind…at least at first, on the surface. Realizing that they are all being used to accomplish God’s ultimate plan of salvation makes it a little easier to understand why they act the way they do. It is still annoying to me though, from a human perspective. They can’t see what we see….now, 2000 years later! When I think more about this I see how much God did to have the whole salvation plan complete, it makes me think how much He loves us. That He never changes and will do as much to accomplish His ultimate plans for us, for me.
    I think the Jewish leaders used the “claims to be king card” only because it was the only hope they had that would bring death to Jesus. I think they felt threatened, that He would expose them for what they were. That they would no longer have the scam they had been running. That they would soon be punished and demoted themselves if Jesus were allowed to live.
    I love the way Jesus chose to respond to Pilates questions. He was so “cool, calm and collected”, even after all He had already been through and all that He knew was about to happen. He is and always the King and those who God had opened their eyes, at least those who seek the Truth, knew He was. I think that deep in Pilates heart, he may have believed Jesus over the leaders. It seems like he wanted Jesus to tell him “something” so he could “pardon” him. I wonder if God had put that desire for the Truth in his heart? Like so many people, in spite of that desire, he chose to please others instead of being concerned about his own salvation.
    I think there were several differences in the crowd that was there for His entry and those standing in judgment. First, they were His followers, believers that followed Him into Jerusalem. Those at Pilates palace were brought there early in the morning, dawn, by the Jewish leaders specifically to pronounce judgment, the death sentence for them. The Jewish people who even paid attention, those who actually were hoping for a Messiah were looking for One who would take over, overthrow the Roman government. They were not looking for a spiritual Messiah…at least most weren’t.
    Wow – great questions Rob, thanks for this forum and making us think and preview your teachings for Sundays…this is GREAT!

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