Jesus was born of Mary in the line of King David. Church tradition tells us that Matthew’s genealogy follows Joseph’s line while Luke follows Mary’s—still citing Joseph since Jesus was born only of a woman, yet Jewish genealogies in the Bible trace fathers.
In the week before his crucifixion, Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey—the way a triumphant king would enter Jerusalem after returning from a victorious battle. After only three years Jesus’s reputation in Israel as the promised Messiah and Eternal King of the Jews was believed throughout Jerusalem.
In the three years leading up to Jesus triumphal entry, the people believed Jesus was their king because Jesus acted like a king and taught like a king.
After Jesus midnight trial, when the Pharisees brought him to Pilate, Pilate thought he was questioning a criminal, but actually Jesus brought counsel and understanding to Pilate. Even Pilate believed Jesus, nailed his confession of Jesus as King of the Jews above him on the Cross, and the early Ethiopian Church even recognized “St. Pontius Pilate” before the Catholics took over.
Pilate had no choice but to crucify Jesus, firstly because it was necessary for God’s plan, but secondarily because the ruse from the Pharisees and the tyranny of Caesar Tiberius would have crucified Jesus and many more, including Pilate and his family, if Pilate hadn’t done something to keep the Pharisees from starting a riot. By crucifying Jesus with the sign “King of the Jews” above Jesus’s head, Pilate had that last political word on what type of people the Pharisees were.
Jesus himself took the gospel to Pilate because no one else could speak to the questions of a ruler’s heart like one ruler speaks to another. Jesus’s counsel was kingly, not only in the eyes of the people, but also in the heart of a ruler like Pilate.
A king is servant and friend of his people. He is judge, commander of armies, head of families, and chief of commerce.
Jesus rules in Heaven and will return to rule from Jerusalem. He leads with justice, self-sacrifice, gentleness, and wisdom, but also employs sharp words and protective wrath. Jesus is our Eternal King.
2 Samuel 7:4-17, 1 Chronicles 17:11–15, 2 Chronicles 6:16-17, Matthew 1:6-17; 21:9, Luke 3:23-38, John 18:33-38; 19-22