Jesus is King. I have to confess my loyalty to King Jesus. This is the main thing about the main thing. God has placed Jesus in charge of God’s country. Jesus is King! I am a subject in His kingdom.
Jesus stands before Pilate, accused of saying that He is King of the Jews. Pilate wants to know: Is Jesus King of the Jews? This is a big deal.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” | John 18:36 (NASB)
Graciously, Jesus consented to explain Himself and His kingdom. Yes, He admitted that He is a King; but His kingdom (reign) does not come from the authority of the world. The Jews were under Roman authority, and Pilate was under the authority of the emperor; but Jesus derived His authority from God. His kingdom is spiritual, in the hearts of His followers; and He does not depend on worldly or fleshly means to advance His cause. If His kingdom were from the world, by now His followers would have assembled an army and fought to release Him.
Jesus did not say that He had no kingdom in this world, or that He would never rule on earth. He does have a kingdom in this world, wherever there are people who have trusted Him and yielded to His sovereignty. One day He shall return and establish a righteous kingdom on earth. Pilate’s concern was the source of this kingdom: where did Jesus derive His authority?
Jesus explained who He is and what kind of kingdom belonged to Him. Pilate probably did not grasp the significance of these profound words, but we today can discern some of the meaning Jesus had in mind. He was “born,” which indicates His humanity; but He also “came into the world,” which indicates His deity. The fact that Jesus came “into the world” means that He had existed before His birth at Bethlehem; and this is an important and repeated truth in John’s Gospel.
But Jesus not only told Pilate of His origin; He also explained His ministry: to bear witness unto the truth. His was a spiritual kingdom of truth; and He won people to His cause, not through force, but through conviction and persuasion. He spoke the truth of God’s Word, and all who were His people would respond to His call. Rome’s weapon was the sword; but our Lord’s weapon was the truth of God, the sword of the Spirit.
- John 18:36 (NASB) —Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
- Revelation 5:6 —And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.
- Revelation 7:10 —and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
- Revelation 21:1 —Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
- Revelation 21:3 — 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,