In May, we started watching the Bible Series again. This time with our church family at Grace. I wanted to share a few reflections on each episode.
In this episode of the Bible Series, I am simply reminded of what Jesus did for us. We deserved everlasting death, but Christ substituted Himself in our place so that all of those who believe in Him will be saved and have eternal life.
There is one phrase in this episode that really stood out to me. What does it mean that the kingdom of Christ is not of or from this world?
“Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’
Jesus answered, ‘Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about Me?’
‘I’m not a Jew, am I?’ Pilate replied. ‘Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?’
‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ said Jesus. ‘If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here’” (John 18:33-36).
What did Jesus mean when He said that His kingdom is not of this world was that His kingdom does not have its origin on the earth, but with God, the Father (v. 36)? No person gives Jesus authority. Jesus already has authority. He is building His kingdom and His people, they are not promoting Him.
What does the fact that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world mean for His people? In verse 36, this question, too, is answered for us as Jesus states that if His kingdom were of this world, His servants would fight so that He would not be delivered to the Jews.
Other verses within the Biblical text help us as we think about this question:
“For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand” (Ephesians 6:12-13).
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter” (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:33-34).
If Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, then our work as we serve Christ is not to be so concerned with building kingdoms of this world. Too many church organizations are only interested in growing bigger, obtaining property, increasing giving, holding on to as much money as possible, and criticizing the whole world for a number of things. What we learn, though, is that we are to be much more concerned with seeking God’s kingdom, not waging war against flesh and blood, pleasing the recruiter, and not getting distracted by the materialism of the world.
We seek first the kingdom of God, which is not of this world, and all things will be provided because God is good. We don’t have to worry about tomorrow. All things are from God, through God, and to God.
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