King

The whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.  Luke 19: 37-38
 
When Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, He was hailed as King by the crowds that had seen His miracles during His public ministry.  They acknowledged Him as the wonder-working Messiah, whom God had been promising to send to His people for many centuries.
 
In the Old Testament, God the Father is also referred to by this name.  But the Jewish people rejected God’s kingship in favor of rule by an earthly king in the time of the prophet Samuel (see 1 Samuel 8:4-9).
 
Saul, Israel’s first king, was followed by many other kings throughout history.  But by Jesus’ time, no king had ruled over the Jews for a period of about five hundred years.  They thought their long-promised Messiah would be a powerful king who would restore their nation to its glory days as a political power.  When the crowds greeted Jesus as King when He entered Jerusalem, they were thinking of Him in these terms.
 
Jesus faced this problem throughout His ministry.  After the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, He realized that the crowds “would come and take him by force, to make him a king” (John 6:15).  He avoided them by slipping away to a secluded spot on a nearby mountain.
 
There was nothing Jesus could do to avoid the crowds on the day when He entered Jerusalem.  But He rode a donkey, a symbol of humility and peace, rather than a prancing white horse, the steed of choice for military heroes of the day (see Matthew 21:1-5).  This showed that He was not a political king but a spiritual King-one who had come into the world to conquer sin and death.
 
 


Just Man

When he {Pilate} was set down on the judgement seat, his wife sent unto him, saying {NIV: sent him this message}, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. Matthew 27:19
 
Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who condemned Jesus to death, received this message from his wife while Jesus was on trial.  She tried to get Pilate to release Jesus, because it had been revealed to her in a dream that He was innocent of the charges against Him.
 
Pilate also knew that Jesus was not guilty, but he caved in to political pressure from the Jewish religious leaders and pronounced the death penalty against Jesus.  Pilate washed his hands before the crowd and declared, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person” (Matthew 27:24).
 
The word just, as applied to Jesus by Pilate and his wife, means “innocent.”  But in other contexts in the New Testament, the names Just (Acts 3:14) Just One (Acts 7:52; 22:14), and Righteous Man (Luke 23:47) refer to Jesus’ righteousness and holiness.
 
Jesus, the Sinless and Righteous One, was not guilty of any crime or wrongdoing.  This makes His death on our behalf all the more meaningful.  He willingly laid down His life on the cross as the sacrifice for our sin.


Judge Of Quick And Dead

And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  Acts 10:42
 
This name of Jesus appears in the sermon that the apostle Peter preached to the Roman centurion Cornelius, a Gentile (see Acts 10:25-43).  Peter made it clear to Cornelius that Jesus had been appointed by God the Father as the supreme Judge of all things-the living and the dead.
 
God’s activity as Judge is one of the key themes of the Old Testament.  But after God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world, He established a new way of rendering His judgment.  According to the Gospel of John, with the coming of Jesus, God the Father “committed all judgement unto the Son” (John 5:22).  Jesus is now the agent through whom divine judgement is handed down.
 
As the Judge of Quick and Dead, Jesus is the great dividing line in history.  At the great white throne judgement in the end time, He will send into eternal punishment those who have refused to accept Him as Savior and Lord (see Revelation 20:11-15).  Christians will not be involved in this judgement, because they have accepted by faith the sacrifice that Jesus has made on their behalf.
 
But Christians will not totally escape divine judgement; they will be subjected to an evaluation known as the judgement seat of Christ.  At this judgement, the service they have rendered for Jesus Christ will be judged and rewarded accordingly.  The exact nature of this judgement and the rewards are unclear.  But the fact that we will face this time of accountability before the Lord should motive us to loyal service in the cause of God’s kingdom.
 
Another name of Jesus that emphasizes His role as Judge is Righteous Judge (2 Timothy 4:8).


Jesus of Galilee/Jesus of Nazareth

Now Peter sat without in the palace and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.  Matthew 26:29
 
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  John 1:45
 
Galilee was one of three provinces, or regions, into which Palestine was divided during New Testament times.  Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus (see Luke 2:51), was a small, insignificant village in the province of Galilee.
 
The verse from Matthew in which Jesus was called Jesus of Galilee, describes the final days of His ministry in Jerusalem.  This city was located in the southernmost province of Judea, about ninety miles from the province of Galilee.  This young woman questioned Peter about his association with Jesus because Galilee to the north was Jesus’ home province and the place where He had spent most of His time of ministry.
 
In the verse from John’s Gospel, Phillip’s reference to Jesus as a person from Nazareth shows his prejudice against this tiny village.  He was convinced that no one of any importance could come from this little “hick town”.
 
But Nathanael changed his mind when he met Jesus in person.  When Jesus told him that He knew all about him, Nathanael acknowledged Him as “the Son of God” and “the King of Israel” (John 1:49).  Nathanael eventually became one of Jesus’ disciples-the one referred to as Bartholomew (see Mark 3:18).  
 
The significance of these names-Jesus of Galilee and Jesus of Nazareth-is that they attest to the historicity of Jesus Christ.  He was not a make-believe figure who emerged from a fiction writer’s imagination.  He was a real person, who grew up in humble circumstances and spent most of His ministry among the common people.  Some skeptics may say otherwise, but Christians declare that the Gospels are eyewitness accounts of the life of a miracle-working Savior, who hailed from a little village in a backwater province.
 
If Jesus had been created by a fiction writer, He probably would have been born into society’s upper class in the influential city of Jerusalem.  He certainly would not have been executed on a Roman cross like a common criminal.  



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