Scripture Reading: John 18:28-40
“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But My kingdom is not from the world.’” (John 18:36)
Following Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin, He was delivered by the Jewish authorities to Pilate. Pilate did not want to deal with Jesus: “Take Him yourselves and judge Him by your own law” (v. 31a). The Jews did not have the authority to execute anyone; so the Jewish leaders insisted that Jesus be tried by the Roman authorities (v. 31b). To appease them, Pilate began His examination of Jesus. He asked Jesus if He was the king of the Jews and what He had done (vs. 33-36). Jesus answered: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But My kingdom is not from the world.” (v. 36).
Jesus made it abundantly clear that His kingdom is essentially different from all worldly kingdoms. Worldly kingdoms use force and military power; the servants of Jesus’ kingdom have different weapons: “For though we walk in the flesh we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (II Corinthians 10:3,4). Jesus’ servants have spiritual weapons and armor — prayer and the Word of God.
Earthly kingdoms come and go but Jesus’ kingdom is everlasting: “And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14). Jesus’ kingdom is different from the kingdoms of the world in that the King is perfectly just, but He is also merciful and full of grace. King Jesus rules with grace and truth. Though He is a king, He also is a servant. He serves His people, provides for them, and defends them completely.
Jesus’ kingdom has a “now and a not yet” to it. Now, Jesus’ rule is in the hearts of His people. But the day is coming when Jesus sets up His throne in the new heavens and new earth. All things will be made right again. Our King will restore all aspects of the creation to its original design and He will reign over His people for all eternity.
Lord Jesus, I am thankful that You rule in my heart now. I am thankful that Your kingdom is different from all worldly kingdoms. I look forward to the day when I will see you sitting on Your glorious throne. Thank You for choosing me to be a servant in Your eternal kingdom.
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