Pilate asking if Jesus was king of the Jews was not new. Nathanael called Jesus the Son of God, the King of Israel (John 1:49). A large crowd of Passover visitors hailed him as king of Israel (John 12:13). Pontius Pilate ruled the Roman province of Judea from 26-36 AD, as one of 30 different Roman Prefects, Procurators and Legates who governed during that time. The Roman province of Judea existed from 6-135 AD. Its capital was Caesarea on the northwest coast and not Jerusalem. Pontius Pilate was the 5th Roman Prefect. Archaeology and history record him as being an equestrian, a knight to us. As Prefect or military governor over the Roman province of Judea, calling Jesus king of the Jews could have been a political threat and enough for a charge of plotting against Roman rule.