“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting that I might not be delivered over to the Jews, but my kingdom is not from the world.'”
What a great verse that just contrasts the kingdom of Jesus and the kingdoms of this world. And it’s really a contrast we see all throughout the gospel. So just think about the differences even as we are in an election season in the United States, for those who listen to this podcast and live in the US in the middle of a presidential election. And like all the things that are happening that are pretty focused on our country and this world.
Thanks be to God that through Christ we have been welcomed into a kingdom, not of this world.
So think about the difference between Jesus’ kingdom and the kingdoms of this world. The kingdoms of this world are built on appeasing and catering to the crowds. The kingdom of Jesus is built on counting the cost of following him in such a way that the crowds for the most part left. That happened all the way back in John chapter six. The road to Jesus’s kingdom is not paved by political hostility toward people. It’s paved by spiritual humility. That’s counter the kingdoms of this world. Entrance into Jesus’s kingdom comes not by asserting yourself but by denying yourself. Those who are citizens of Jesus’s kingdom are not people who show their power, like with the weapons of this world. That’s the whole point of what he’s saying here.
They’re the people who put their trust in God’s word. And all of this is right before Jesus is delivered over to be crucified. Ultimately, the inauguration of Jesus’s kingdom is not set in motion when he is elected. It’s set in motion when he is executed. When in the next chapters, he will be crowned with thorns on his head as he suffers for sin we committed. Jesus, we praise you as the perfectly unique, unprecedented and worthy, only worthy king. And we praise you for the privilege of being part of your kingdom. We exalt you as king. We exalt you as Lord. We exalt you as savior of our sins. We exalt you as conqueror of death. We exalt you as the one who has ascended and seated at the right hand of the father. Right now all glory be to your name, Jesus, our king.
We worship you. We exalt you. We surrender to you. We’ve gladly laid down our lives before you. And we say, thank you. Thank you for letting us be a part of your kingdom. Thank you for making us ambassadors for you, the king. What a picture that we see in scripture that we’re ambassadors of yours representing you. So help us to represent you well, we pray. Help us to live according to your character and your word. Help us to reflect your love and your truth, and your kindness, and your compassion. God, make us more and more like Jesus our king, we pray. And we are exhilarated when we think about how you have made us heirs of your kingdom. How the Holy Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance that one day we will inherit your kingdom.
So we pray like you taught us to pray, Jesus. Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. Your will be done in our lives. Your will be done in our families. Your will be done in our churches. Your will be done on earth we pray as it is in heaven. Oh Jesus, we praise you as our king. And we pray that you’d help us to live ultimately, not for the kingdoms of this world, but for your kingdom. In the name of Jesus our king, we pray. Amen. Well, even as I pray that, I want to mention that I just finished writing a book actually about how do we glorify Jesus as king in the middle of a presidential election? So just a short book called Before You Vote: Seven Questions Christians Should Ask Before They Vote.
I’m just so burdened to help one another glorify Christ with our vote as citizens in this country, for those of you who live in the United States, and to do it in unity with the church. To walk through a politically divisive climate and time, growing together with unity in the church around Christ. So if you’re interested in diving into that short book, I invite you to go to radical.net to find out more information about Before You Vote. And I hope it will serve you well. Just to make clear, in this book, I have no desire to support or denounce, or even hint towards supporting or denouncing a particular candidate. My aim is not really who wins on election day. My aim is where you and I stand in Christ on election day and where we stand as the church.
And not just on that day, but in the days thereafter. So I hope it will serve you well if you have an opportunity to dive into it.