Mark 15:26 and John 19:19 record the charge brought against Jesus as “the King of the Jews" as displayed by a plaque placed above Jesus as He hung on the cross. Thus the event is multiply attested. This title of Jesus was never a title given to Him by Christians, so the criterion of dissimilarity also allows this event to be added to the list of authentic sayings of, or events surrounding, Jesus.1
This title demonstrates that Jesus was not arrested and executed simply for being a troublemaker or disturber of the peace - He was executed because He claimed to be the Messiah. We see support for this in an account from Josephus in A.D. 62 of Jesus, son of Ananias, who would consistently stand in the temple and shout ominous things. This Jesus was arrested and questioned about who he was, where he came from, and why he was saying these things. He gave no answer to these questions and was deemed insane and released. Jesus, son of Ananias, did not claim to be the Messiah.2
This series identifying authentic sayings of, or events surrounding, Jesus will continue again next week.
Stand firm in Christ,
1. Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics; Third Edition. Page 305.
2. Ibid. Page 306.