The whole gospel of Mark sets out to portray Jesus as the rightful king of Israel.
This was important because they were first and foremost God’s people. His ideal was never for them to have an earthly king, but the Old Testament describes their inability to live under God’s rule, to listen to his prophets, and to live peacefully under the judges he their demands for royal leadership like other nations around them, and God’s eventual concession. Their greatest king was King David, who became a sort of prototypical king against which all future kings would be measured, except one.
There was great anticipation of this coming king, called the Messiah, who even David would call king or Lord. It was promised multiple times in the OT, like here in 2 Samuel:
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David. (2 Samuel 7:12-17 ESV)
But when he finally appeared on this earth, he wasn’t recognized by everyone as the king they’d been waiting for. Many expected he would be a valiant warrior, leading troops into Jerusalem to reatake the capitol and destroy the Roman oppressors.
But that isn’t what Jesus claimed to be. He claimed to be a different kind of King for the Jews, or at least he didn’t deny those who thought he was king. When he was called before a Roman leader, in danger of execution for challenging the Roman Emperor’s authority, he didn’t save himself. Here’s what happened:
And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. (Mark 15:2-5 ESV)
Question: Why do you think Jesus didn’t answer?
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]