Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:33–37, NIV 1984).
My Musings – In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” This is actually a paraphrase of a 1905 quote of philosopher George Santayana, which reads, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
- “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. ” (John 1:11, NIV 1984). Jesus was not interested in ruling the world as it is. Satan offered that to Him and He rejected it. The Jews, by and large, were interested in throwing off the yoke of Rome and restoring the kingdom of Israel to its glory days (now as it was in the past), and they rejected Him. His Kingdom is not based on military, economic or political power. If it were, “His servants would fight.”
- “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12, NIV 1984). Jesus was and is interested in turning it into a new world that is fit for His rule. A spiritual Kingdom. One day He will rule “on earth as it is in heaven.” The world as it will be. A Kingdom based on truth and righteousness.
Let’s not forget our history. Whether or not America was great, continues to be great, or needs to be great again does not change the fact that His “Kingdom is not of this world.” If we put our kingdom before His, or confuse the two, we run the risk of losing it. Just like Judah and Israel did so many years ago.
My Advice – While we must be good citizens and patriots while here on earth, our greatest work is to advance His Kingdom. He will take care of how the kingdoms of this world (great and not so great) fit into His plan for the consummation of all things. He always has.
Steve is an elder at First. He has his own blog, www.TheBrewIsAmusing.com