In the biblical record concerning the crucifixion of Jesus, one truth about Him is singularly highlighted in all four gospels:
“And set up over his head His accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Matt. 27:37).
“And the superscription of His accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Mk. 15:26).
“And a superscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Lk. 23:38).
“And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross, And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS” (John 19:19).
John, who was the last one to write his Gospel, gives additional information concerning the title on the Cross of Jesus that the Synoptics do not:
“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” (19:20-22).
John thus informs us that the top Jewish leadership objected to this title because it spoke of Him as being the King of the Jews instead of saying that He claimed to be the King of the Jews.
Based on the inspired record from all four gospels concerning the superscription of His cross, we should note carefully that the specific wording of the official charge against Jesus was not concerning His claiming to be God! Rather, all the gospel writers inform us that the wording of the charge specifically spoke of Him as the King of the Jews.
Moreover, we learn that this truth was testified to in three different languages. Because the Gospels do not explicitly record that any other truth concerning His crucifixion was testified to in multiple languages, we can be all the more certain of the unique importance of this truth.
Is it legitimate, therefore, in evangelistic preaching of and testimony to the crucifixion of Jesus, that very often great stress is placed on the proclamation of His deity, but very little or not even anything specifically is said about Him as the King of the Jews? In view of the divinely directed testimony about the latter truth that was given both before His conception (Luke 1:32-33) and at His crucifixion, ought we not rather to hold that testimony to Jesus as the King of the Jews is as essential to gospel preaching as testimony to His deity?
Let us be diligent to evangelize “the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12) by bearing testimony to Jesus as the God-appointed King of the Jews (Luke 1:32-33)! Our gospel preaching will then be in line with the same crucial truth that is highlighted in all four Gospels, a truth which was testified in three languages at the crucifixion of Christ.
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