33 Then again Pilate went into the Praetorium and called Jesus and said to Him: “Are you the King of the Jews?”
34 Jesus replied: “Are you saying this from yourself, or have others told you about Me?”
35 Pilate replied: “Am I a Jew? Your nation and chief priests delivered You to me. What have You done?”
All over the world and throughout every generation people have wanted to know more about Jesus. It is still true today that people are still asking: “who is Jesus?”
Pilate was in the same situation. He wanted to discover why Jesus appeared to be such a threat to the Jews, and why it was that they were so keen to have Jesus executed. Therefore, he called Jesus to himself and asked a politically loaded question: “Are You the King of the Jews?”
Perhaps Pilate thought that the way in which Jesus answered that question could give him the excuse to have Jesus crucified. If Jesus said that He was the King of the Jews, then Pilate would have felt justified in condemning Jesus to death, because He would have been plotting against Caesar. Pilate could not let such a plot go unpunished, therefore, crucifixion would be justified.
Pilate, like the Jews, was hoping that Jesus would condemn Himself.
It is also possible that Pilate would have been aware that the Jews looked for and longed for the messiah king. He would have been aware of the previous history of the Maccabees and how they overthrew the Greeks (160-167 BC). Linking this with the popularity that Jesus had with the ordinary people he may have seen the real potential for political upheaval and revolt against Rome.
Therefore He asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews.
Today each one of us needs to continually ask the question: “Is Jesus the King of my life?”
There will be areas of our life that still refuse to accept Him as our King. It may be a habit, or a relationship that we have not submitted to the kingship of Jesus. It may be an attitude towards someone else, or a career path that is not Christ-like.
For each one of us we constantly need to affirm that Jesus is our King and to daily submit ourselves to Him.