It’s hard to think about Jesus’ kingdom when you are living on earth. How do you not get so caught up in being a part of the kingdom of the world? I wouldn’t even have thought about it if the last Sunday of Pentecost which is Christ the King Sunday didn’t lead me to the conversation Jesus and Pilate discussed in John 18 the gospel message for the day.
When Pilate asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews a back-and-forth discussion resulted in this statement from John 18:26: “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.”’ This world has kingdoms that attempt to push back the effects of the fall. It has kingdoms that get caught up in the effects of the fall. There is only one kingdom where the extreme wounds of this world can find justice and healing.
Sometimes I wonder if I am making a real difference in this world. There are so many issues that create such overwhelming pain in people’s lives that I am so powerless to make a change. One example is sex trafficking that has only gotten worse since I felt a distinct calling of the Holy Spirit to pray for its victims. I have given to ministries that work with these victims, but the most consistent way I help is through prayer. One of the bracelets I put on every day is a reminder to pray for them. I can’t imagine a worse life. I imagine that they cry out to God whether they know much about Him or not. I know God hears their prayers. How many dies in captivity? I know God knows. It’s so hard to think about them but I can’t stop. I feel powerless except when I pray. I don’t see how it is making a difference in this world’s kingdom of evil, but it is important to do. In this Sunday’s reading I see an affirmation of my prayer focus even though I don’t know for sure how it is making a difference. When you are a servant of God, you don’t fight like earthy kingdoms.
Jesus stood before Pilate appearing to be a criminal, but He stood as our King. That is how a King of heaven appears in the kingdom of earth. To the naked eye Pilate has all the power of the Roman Empire over Jesus. However Jesus informs him that he would never be standing before Pilate if His kingdom was part of this world.
We read the history books. They inform us of kingdoms that rise and fall. There has never been nor will there ever be a kingdom of this world that will heal humankind and bring about eternal life. No matter how much time and effort, planning and execution is put into the practices of kingdoms—especially satan’s evil kingdom, it will not succeed. Revelation assures us of that.
All of Scripture, Revelation and especially this conversation between Jesus and Pilate, explain that the Kingdom of God is like nothing we can even conceive of on this earth. I hope you pray the Lord’s prayer daily that His Kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. His Kingdom is the only one to be loyal to support. Jesus shows us that when we live for God’s Kingdom, we can accept the absurdities of this world’s kingdom. Live for the Kingdom today. Show your citizenship card by doing the will of God.