Not of this world
After his arrest Jesus had a conversation with Pilate, the Roman Governor.
“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 that 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 (reality or the whole story*). Everyone on the side of truth (reality*) listens to me.’
What is truth (reality*)? Pilate asked.” (Ref 1)
Pilate was spiritually blind to the reality of Jesus. They lived in different worlds. Jesus did not look like a king to Pilate because he did not fit into his box or frame of reference as to what a king should look like on earth. Where were his fine clothes, his palace, his wealth and servants? His power?
The very idea was unquantifiable to Pilate. At the same time Jesus knew exactly who he was, where he was from, why he had come and to where he was returning.
How do we measure up to our King?
Now King Jesus has been followed by many other kings. (Ref 2)
So here’s a challenge:
How many of us, who have purposed to follow Christ, have had a conversation with a ‘Pilate’ like Jesus did with the clear distinction of each being from a different world?
If not, could it be that our reality is the same as Pilate’s?
Why is this? It must surely mean that we have actually not followed Jesus into His kingdom and, far from being unquantifiable, our lives fit into the very same box as the prevalent system culture around us.
And if we are following Him, take heart, for Jesus’ disciples, despite being alongside him for over three years, also struggled to be on the same page of reality as Him.
‘Do you not know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?’ (Ref 3)
Success by whose standards?
If we know that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, why would we strive to be successful by its’ standards?
What in the world are we doing?
‘This world is not your own. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.’ (Ref 4)
Sadly without the eternal perspective of Christ’s kingdom, humanity has the startling capacity to work its’ socks off for something that will eventually lead to nothing. Surely this is just shear futility.
‘When a wicked man (of the world’s system*) dies, his hope perishes. All he expected from his power comes to nothing.’ (Ref 5)
‘It is too easy to be successful by means of our earthly identities. We have the examples and strategies of previous generations to instruct us what not to do. We must travel an incredibly narrow road to be successful in the eyes of Heaven.’ (Ref 6)
The Holy Spirit shows us how (Ref 7)
* Italics amongst scripture are my words
1.) John 18:36-38
2.) Romans 8:29, Revelation 1:6
3.) John 14:9
4.) 1 Peter 2:11, MSG
5.) Proverbs 11:
6.) Shawn Bolz – The Throne Room Company. Page 61
7.) John 16:13-15