title no. 52 – ‘king of Israel’
John 1 V49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel
Only 4 times and only in the gospels is this title given to our Lord Jesus. There were only 3 kings before the Lord Jesus that rightfully had the title ‘king of Israel’ – Saul was the first, then David and his son Solomon.
After the reign of Solomon the Lord decided to remove the kingdom from Rehoboam and from then on the kingdom in Israel was divided between the kings of Judah (reigning over 2 tribes – Judah and Benjamin) and kings of Israel (reigning over the remaining 10 tribes). After the Babylonian captivity there has been no king in Israel and never shall be until the Lord Jesus comes to reign at his second advent to earth.
When upon earth the Lord Jesus was addressed by Nathaniel early in his ministry. Nathaniel first addressed him as Rabbi which means teacher and so many were willing to recognise him as such. When our Lord Jesus preached from the scriptures he did so with great authority. Then Nathaniel went further and said the Son of God. He was recognising his Diety. He then said king of Israel – this was royalty.
When the Lord Jesus came into Jerusalem on what we call ‘Palm Sunday’ so many cried to him as ‘king of Israel’ and yet 7 days later so many in that same city called for his crucifixion. On the cross people shouted to him he saved others he cannot save himself – if he be king of Israel come down from the cross and we will believe him. Thank God he did not come down for then would we have no Saviour. Also he did not come down for he knew they would still not believe in him.
The first time he came as their king but they rejected him. He will come a second time to earth and all the earth will recognise him as ‘king of Israel’ – yea and as king overall the earth – Zech 14 V9.
Howard McNally 12.10.11