And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” (Mark 15:2 ESV)
The Jewish council, called the Sanhedrin, had met secretly in the middle of the night on the heels of the Passover meal. They had sentenced Jesus secretly, and then rushed him out at dawn to Pilate, the Roman governor—seeking the death penalty.
Pilate had one question for Jesus. “Are you the king?” It was an important question that carried a lot of implications. The truth to that question had ramifications that stretched across governments, cultures, and creation itself.
Jesus never backed down from his identity. The Gospels paint a repeatedly pointed picture of Jesus the Son of God. He was the King of the Jews, and the King of Kings. So why the strange reply?
I believe that Jesus is often more concerned with who we say that he is. Now, make no mistake, he will declare himself King one day—and scripture says that when that happens every knee will bow. But Jesus wanted to know who Pilate said that he was. He often wanted to hear who people said he was. Why?
Because who you think Jesus is matters. If he is just a good moral teacher and man, well that kind of view has no far reaching eternal implications. If you believe he was the perfect Son of God, who died for your sins, then that is a different matter altogether. Jesus just wants to know who you have said he is, and what you’re going to do about it.