… that seemed like a (yes) fundamental misreading of gMark; the charge "king of the Jews" does not even appear in 14:61-64. Insofar as we can agree that the title "king of the Jews" denotes a David-like warrior king who would lead a rebellion against Rome, I think John2 and any careful reader of gMark would have to reach the conclusion that, although the messiah, Mark's Jesus is not a warrior king.
I don't think it's a fundamental misreading of Mark to interpret the word Christ as "king of the Jews," since Christ means Messiah, as you understand, and Messiah can certainly be understood as "king of the Jews" in the context of Mark.
The concept of messianism originated in Judaism, and in the Hebrew Bible, a messiah is a king
or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil. However, messiahs were not exclusively Jewish, as the Hebrew Bible refers to Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, as a messiah
for his decree to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple.
In Jewish eschatology, the Messiah is a future Jewish king
from the Davidic line, who is expected to be anointed with holy anointing oil and rule the Jewish people during the Messianic Age and World to come. The Messiah is often referred to as "King Messiah"
While Christianity acknowledges only one ultimate Messiah, Judaism can be said to hold to a concept of multiple messiahs. The two most relevant are the Messiah ben Joseph and the traditional Messiah ben David. Some scholars have argued that the idea of two messiahs, one suffering and the second fulfilling the traditional messianic role, was normative to ancient Judaism, predating Jesus
. Jesus would have been viewed by many as one or both.
And that the "Christ" that Jesus claims to be in Mk. 14:61-62 is eschatological is clear from his statement to the high priest that "you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
And no, Jesus doesn't have to be a "David-like warrior king" to be the "son of man," but the "son of man" is clearly a "king" given what Dan. 7:14 says about him:
And he was given dominion, glory, and kingship, so that every people, nation, and language should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
The same goes for the gentle king in Zech. 9:9-10 that Jesus emulates in Mk. 11:1-10. That king isn't a "David-like warrior king" either but is nevertheless a "king of the Jews" who gains his kingdom with the warrior-like assistance of God:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war will be broken. Then he will proclaim peace to the nations; His dominion will extend from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates to the ends of the earth.
And this king is said to rule over all nations, would include Rome in the context of Mark.
So whether Jesus was a descendent of David or not, or a "David-like warrior king" or not, he certainly saw himself as Daniel's "son of man" and Zechariah's gentle king, and both these figures are said to be rulers of kingdoms "that will never be destroyed" and extend "to the ends of the earth" and over "every people, nation, and language," which would include Rome in the context of Mark.
Don't you think the high priest was aware of this meaning of the "son of man" and Zechariah's king? And I think he also understood that the "son of man" can be interpreted as being divine (as per the two heavenly thrones in Dan. 7:9, cf., "the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power"), which Boyarin argues is underscored by Jesus saying "I am" in response to being asked if he was "the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One," since Jesus uses the same words as God's name in LXX Ex. 3:14:
And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am [eigo eimi] has sent me to you.’”
Cf. Mk. 14:61-62:
“Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am” [eigo eimi], said Jesus ...
I think this is really the core of Jesus' messianism in Mark. He's not merely "the Messiah" or a "David-like warrior king" or Zechariah's king, he's divine
, i.e., the "son of God" (for which the Roman centurion mocks him in Mk. 15:39). This is why the high priest says in 14:64, "You have heard the blasphemy."
But as I've been saying, it doesn't matter how you define "Messiah" or "king of the Jews," because the end result is the same no matter how you slice it, i.e., Jesus says he will soon (since the high priest will see it, so it will happen during the time of Rome) return as the "son of man ... on the clouds of heaven," and the "son of man" is said to rule an eternal "kingdom" over "every people, nation, and language."
And I assume that the high priest had told Pilate that Jesus had claimed to be "the king of the Jews" because that is essentially what he claimed to be by claiming to be the "son of man" and by riding into Jerusalem on a colt, and this is an expression that Pilate would have more readily understood and appreciated (and served the purpose of killing Jesus) than explaining the "son of man" gobbledygook in the book of Daniel to him, in the same way that Josephus uses the expression "governor of the habitable earth" instead of Messiah.
Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.