Before Jesus was born a sign appeared in the heavens, a star. Wise men from other lands, non-Hebrews, men referred to as “Magi”, saw this sign and the truth of its meaning was revealed to them. They travelled from afar and, as recorded in Matthew 2, “during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.””
At Jesus death a sign was placed above Him. It was a sign written in three languages, plain for all to see and understand. A leader, a wise man given the responsibility of being a judge, Pilate, wrote the sign which read, “The King of the Jews”.
How interesting that at both ends of Jesus’ life on Earth, God sent outsiders, non-Jews, to proclaim the message of His Son, the Messiah, the King. It is interesting as well to see the Jews response. In Matthew 2, we read that “when King Herod heard this (question from the Magi) he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.” In John 19 we read that the chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.””
In Luke 4 and Mark 6, we read Jesus’ words that “no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.”
But the Jews, even the high priests, those who should have known the best, did not listen, even to outsiders. Instead they wanted to substitute the signs of the truth with lies. From the beginning to the end they were greatly disturbed. What an interesting reaction by people who claimed to seek and desire the fulfillment of God’s word to, in turn, reject it when it happens and instead of rejoicing be disturbed by it. Instead of seeing the truth, they instead sought to re-write it into a lie. Jesus never claimed to be the King of the Jews, even though He was (and is). He did not ever attempt to force His sovereignty onto others, but instead offered a home.
But don’t we sometimes do the same thing as the Jews. We pray for God to intervene, to keep us safe, to protect our families, to bless our churches. And when He does, we ignore it and write it off as luck or circumstance or good fortune. When we have miracles occur in our lives, we are often the first to say, “well, I don’t want to claim that I heard God…” or “I don’t want to say that this for sure was God…”. When we doubt, are we hedging? When we doubt God’s hand, are we, even if just in our minds, substituting a lie for the truth?
First comes faith, then comes certainty. If it was the other way around, it would not be faith. It is not faith to trust in the laws of nature, to “believe” in gravity or that fire will burn. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Faith is the bridge from hope to confidence and from blindness to assurance. The Jews chose to not accept faith. The signs were there, and despite having hope, they were blinded by their own lies that they could not see what was written, “The King of the Jews,” was the truth.
Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews, written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek, they wanted it to say that he claimed to be king of the Jews
PS: King of all Nations
Matt: Magi saw prediction of the king of the Jews, ruler who will shepherd Israel
J4: Jesus is the Savior of the World
J6: The bread is my flesh which I give for the life of the world
J11: Caiaphas’ word: better for Jesus to die, not just for nation but all scattered children
Rev: With you blood you purchased for God persons of every tribe, language, people, nation
The charge of our legal indebtedness