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before Him they mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews.'
9. When Jesus was crucified, " Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross, and the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate: Write not the King of the Jews, but that He said I am the King of the Jews.” 2
10. When Christ was hanging on the cross, “ the chief priests with the scribes and ancients, remembering how he had called Himself King of the Jews, said, in mockery: If He be the King of Israel, let Him come down from the cross and we will believe Him." 3
But the most striking fact which brings before our very eyes the reality and truth of Christ's sovereignty over the Jews, is the particular state of the Jewish nation since they rejected Him and refused to have Him to reign over them. For what has been the condition of that miserable people for the space of more than eighteen centuries? A truly mysterious and wonderful thing. They have been expelled from their country, spread through all nations without any king or kingdom of their own, and subject to the rulers of the nations. There is hardly any other race which does not enjoy some sort of distinct government; the Jewish nation alone, which is perhaps the richest nation in the world, has been left for nearly two thousand years without a government of any kind. The Jewish people lend their money to the kings of the nations; they support by their wealth the kingdoms of the Gentiles, and yet they themselves have not been able to assemble 1 Matt. xxvii. 28, 29.
2 John xix. 19, 21. 3 Matt. xxvii. 41, 42.
and establish a kingdom. And, notwithstanding their riches, they must, in banishment from their own land, submit to the yoke of foreign nations. Why this, if not because their King is Jesus Christ, whom they have rejected; Jesus Christ ever living; Jesus Christ whom they have crucified ? As they crucified this their King and would not have Him reign over them, so He has abandoned them as rebel subjects, and left them destitute of all ruling power, until they shall open their eyes and bow their stiff necks to acknowledge and adore Him, their true and Sovereign Lord.
Jesus Christ Lord and Ruler of the Nations. We learn from Holy Scripture that Jesus Christ, the great Messias, was sent especially to the children of Israel. “I was not sent," said our Lord to the Cananean woman, “but to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel.” 1
And the angel who appeared to Joseph, after telling him to take unto himself Mary his wife, continues : “ She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save His people from their
But though Jesus came to His own, His own received Him not. The kingdom therefore, we are told, was taken away from them and given to another people, which should bring forth suitable fruits. Thus St. Paul and Barnabas, seeing that the Jews were obstinate in rejecting the Gospel, said, “To you it behoved us first to speak the Word of God; but because you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, I Matt. xv. 24.
" Ib. i. 21,
we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord hath commanded us: I have set thee to be the light of the Gentiles; that thou mayest be for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth.” 1
By this appointment of the divine wisdom, the blessings of the Gospel of Christ rejected by the Jews were conveyed to the Gentiles, who from that time ceased to be children of malediction, and became by faith children of benediction, and partakers of the promises inade to Abraham and to his posterity. This rejection and election was clearly predicted by our Saviour, who thus spoke to the Jews : “I say
come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast into exterior darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."? It was also expressly declared by St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, thus: “ All are not Israelities that are of Israel: neither are all they that are the seed of Abraham, children: but in Isaac shall thy seed be called : That is to say, not they that are the children of the flesh are the children of God; but they that are the children of the promise are accounted for the seed." 3 And again :"I
“I say that Jesus Christ was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. But that the Gentiles are to glorify God for His mercy, as it is written : Therefore will I confess to Thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to thy name. And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with His people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gen. 1 Acts xiji. 46, 47.
? Matt. viii. 11, 12. 3 Rom, ix, 6-8.
tiles; and magnify Him, all ye people. And again Isaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse ; and He that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.” 1
Jesus then, rejected by His own people, became the riches of the Gentiles. The blessings of the Gospel, of which the Jews proved themselves unworthy, were conveyed to the nations which received them in a spirit of thankfulness and love. The children of Israel refused to have Christ to reign over them, saying, that they had no other king but Cæsar, and the Eternal Father gave Him the nations for His inheritance. Thus Jesus, who in His quality of son and heir of David according to the flesh, is the King of the Jews, on His being rejected by His own nation, became also the King and Ruler of the nations which the Father placed under His power, and subjected to Him as their Sovereign Lord. “The Lord hath said to me," says Christ through His prophet David, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of me, and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession.” 2 “Behold,” says the Divine Father, by the mouth of the prophet Isaias, "I have given Him for a witness to the people, for a leader and a master of the Gentiles. Behold, Thou shalt call a nation which Thou knewest not, and the nations that knew not Thee shall run to Thee, because of the Lord Thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel, for He hath glorified Thee." 3
And again : « They have sought Me that before asked not for Me, they have found Me that sought Me not. I said: 1 Rom. xv. 8-12.
2 Psalm ii. 7. 3 Isa. lv. 4, 5.
Behold Me, behold Me, to a nation that did not call upon My name. I have spread forth My hands all the day to an unbelieving people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts. A people that continually provoke Me to anger before My face.” 1 Wherefore Jesus, being risen from the dead, before ascending into heaven, said to His disciples : “ All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore teach ye all nations : baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” 2
The power which Christ has received from His Father as the King and Ruler of nations He has begun to exercise through the instrumentality of His Church from the time of their conversion to Christianity. But the full and perfect exhibition of this power is reserved to His second coming, when every knee shall bend before Him, “and all nations shall come and adore in His sight.”
Principal errors of the Jews respecting the coming of Christ
and His kingdom. Holy Scripture expressly points out two distinct comings of Christ : one in humiliation and suffering, to redeem the world; and the other in majesty and glory, to judge the living and the dead.
The first coming was thus especially predicted by Isaias :-"He shall grow up as a tender plant 1 Isa. lxv. 1-3.
2 Matt. xxviii. 18—20.