Where’s Your Kingdom?
In John 18 we have the account of Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter’s denials of Jesus, Jesus’ trial and His appearance before Pilate. It is Jesus’ appearance before Pilate I want us to think about this morning. Pilate is clearly in a quandary. He knows in his heart that Jesus has done nothing wrong. He knows that the Jews have delivered Jesus to him under a set of shady circumstances. Pilate wants to let Jesus free. But, he is a political leader who wants to stay in power…as most of them do. Pilate asks Jesus if He considered Himself to be a king. 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Jesus was and is a king…but His kingdom was not a political, human centered kingdom. If so, Jesus could have defeated all of His “enemies”. It is in this chapter where we have John’s record of the soldiers falling to the ground in the very presence of Jesus. Jesus also said He could have summoned legions of angels to save Him. But His arrest and crucifixion were all part of the divine plan…part of a kingdom plan.
Jesus was then and is now a king of a different kingdom; the kingdom of heaven. If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior then you too are a part of this heavenly kingdom. The struggle for me is how to live as a subject of the heavenly kingdom while still living on earth. In the New Testament we are continually exhorted to live as if we are simply “passing through” this kingdom. Yet, the temptation is to act as if this life is the only one we have. I’m guessing all of us have stayed in hotel rooms. Have you ever spent money or large amounts of time to make improvements to your hotel room while you were there…ever put on a fresh coat of paint…ever wallpaper…buy a larger TV? Of course not. Why not? Because you are just “passing through”. Why invest time and money into something that is so temporary in your life? The analogy isn’t perfect but I think its instructive. This life is like a hotel room for the believer in Jesus. This is not our home. This “kingdom” is not our kingdom. Sure, we have to live here for a while; but let’s not act like it’s our home. We have a different king and kingdom. Let’s follow our King!