“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.“ – Vs 36 NASB
Ever since the day Jesus had begun His earthly ministry and called His first disciples, His followers had hoped that He was the “coming One,” the Messiah they had long hoped for. For centuries they had been waiting for the arrival of the one who would come as their king and lead them in victory over their enemies. The Messiah for whom they were waiting was going to be a warrior-king. He would defeat the Romans, set His people free, and set up His kingdom on earth, reestablishing the throne of David in Jerusalem. G. N. H. Peters writes, “It is universally admitted by writers of prominence … that the Jews, including the pious, held to a personal coming of the Messiah, the literal restoration of the Davidic throne and kingdom, the personal reign of Messiah on David’s throne, the resultant exaltation of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation, and the fulfilment of the Millennial descriptions of that reign.” The expectation of the disciples was high. They were anticipating that Jesus was going to set up His kingdom here on earth. That is why two of them asked Jesus if they could sit on His left and on His right when He came into power (Mark 10:37). It is also the reason why Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that He was going to Jerusalem to die (Matthew 16:21-23). This news did not fit into Peter’s plans for the Messiah or himself. He was looking for a conquering King, not a suffering servant. The Jews had held onto the promises given to them by God found in the writings of the Old Testament:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. – Isaiah 9:6-7
But now, as we approach the last hours of Jesus life, we see that the kingdom He came to establish was quite different than that which the disciples and Jews had anticipated. Jesus clearly saw Himself as a king. He admitted it to Pilate when He said, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (Vs 37 NASB). But He also clarified that His kingdom was NOT going to be an earthly kingdom – at least not yet. “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” (Vs 36 NASB). Jesus came to establish a spiritual kingdom. He came to reign as king in the lives of those who would be His servants. He would not be recognized as king by His own – the Jews. But He was king nonetheless. And He is king today. He rules and He reigns from heaven. He is Lord of Lord and King of kings. He sits at the right hand of the Father and one day will return to finish what He began. The day is coming when He will establish His throne on earth and rule from Jerusalem.
But the real question is whether or not Jesus is king in my life today. Does He rule and reign over the affairs of my life? Or like the Jews of Jesus’ day, am I guilty of anticipating a different kind of king? Was I looking for a king who would do what I wanted? Was I anticipating a king who would give me a life free from pain, sorrow, opposition, and struggles? At this point, Jesus’ kingdom is a spiritual one. He rules in the lives of men and women. His kingdom is not of this earth. One day it will be. But for now, it is a kingdom that has a spiritual dimension. As a believer, I am a citizen of that kingdom. But do I obey its King? Do I allow Him to rule in my life every day? What about you? Is Jesus King in your life today? Read the following message given by Dr. S. M. Lockeridge. It could inspire you to let Him reign in your life.
My King was born King. The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King. He’s the King of the Jews – that’s an Ethnic King. He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King. He’s the King of righteousness. He’s the King of the ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of glory. He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that’s my King.
Well, I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King? David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. My King is the only one of whom there are no means of measure that can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of the shore of His supplies. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. That’s my King. He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s saviour. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He’s honest. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s pre-eminent. He’s the grandest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the supreme problem in higher criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of historic theology. He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That’s my King.
He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He’s the only one able to supply all our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He’s the Almighty God who guides and keeps all his people. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. That’s my King.
Do you know Him? Well, my King is a King of knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory. He’s the master of the mighty. He’s the captain of the conquerors. He’s the head of the heroes. He’s the leader of the legislatures. He’s the overseer of the overcomers. He’s the governor of governors. He’s the prince of princes. He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords. That’s my King.
His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you . . . but He’s indescribable. That’s my King. He’s incomprehensible, He’s invincible, and He is irresistible.
I’m coming to tell you this, that the heavens of heavens can’t contain Him, let alone some man explain Him. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him. The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree about Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. That’s my King.
He always has been and He always will be. I’m talking about the fact that He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor. There’s nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him. You can’t impeach Him and He’s not going to resign. That’s my King! That’s my King!
Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Well, all the power belongs to my King. We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but in the end all that matters is God’s power. Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory. We try to get prestige and honor and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? Forever and ever and ever and ever. . . And when you get through with all of the ever’s, then . . .Amen!
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men