In the old John Wayne movies, especially his westerns, there was usually a scene where two men squared off and stared each other down. They would try to intimidate each other with their stares and words before the fight began. Some of the greatest lines from the movies came from these scenes. Pontius Pilate had a similar encounter with Jesus, and Jesus told him “My kingdom is Not of This World.”
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. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.
Jesus spoke these words to Pontius Pilate. Pilate was trying to figure out what Jesus did wrong. He charged that the chief priests had handed him over so it must be something big. Was Jesus trying to make himself King of the Jews? Jesus then sets the record straight. His kingdom wasn’t part of this world. If his kingdom were on earth, his people would fight to free him. There would be a revolution in the streets.
Not of This World
Jesus was a revolutionary but not of the political or military type. The world was turned upside down with his message of love and grace. Overthrowing the Roman government wasn’t in his game plan. He wanted to see lives transformed by the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit. His kingdom was not of this world, but one day it will be.
We need to remember, as Christians, we are citizens of heaven. Our time on earth is to glorify Jesus and preach the Gospel as we journey towards our final destination. While we are in the world, we are at the same time not of this world. We have been made new creations with our old sinful nature being replaced by the righteousness of Christ. The things of this world will pass away but what we have in Christ will not.