DIFFERENT KIND OF KINGDOM
John 18:36-37 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.
I have always been amazed by Jesus response to the governor Pontius Pilate. Pilate asked Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” The response is not what Pilate expected, “My kingdom is not of this world”. Jesus confirmed that He was a king, just not that kind of a king. This king was born in a stable rather than a palace, this king worked as a carpenter rather than having a staff at His beck and call, this King washed people’s feet rather than having servants attend to His needs. No, the world had never seen a king quite like this king. Sometimes, we can be distracted. It is way to easy to think that having Christ in our life is all about improving our natural circumstances in this life. Don’t get me wrong, if we seek first the kingdom of God, He will take care of our temporal issues, but that is not the main thrust of the kingdom of God. Matthew Henry has an amazing grasp of this secret kingdom. Check out his thoughts.
“Its nature is not worldly; it is a kingdom within me, set up in their hearts and consciences, its riches spiritual, its powers spiritual, and all its glory within. The ministers of state in Christ’s kingdom have not the spirit of the world. Its guards and supports are not worldly; its weapons are spiritual. It neither needed nor used secular force to maintain and advance it, nor was it carried on in a way hurtful to kings or provinces; it did not in the least interfere with the prerogatives of princes nor the property of their subjects; it tended not to alter any national establishment in secular things, nor opposed any kingdom but that of sin and Satan. Its tendency and design are not worldly. Christ neither aimed nor would allow his disciples to aim at the pomp and power of the great men of the earth. Its subjects, though they are in the world, yet are not of the world; they are called and chosen out of the world, are born from, and bound for, another world; they are neither the world’s pupils nor its darlings, neither governed by its wisdom nor enriched with its wealth.”
I love what Henry said about the citizens of this kingdom, “they are neither the world’s pupils nor its darlings”. We are not taught by the world neither are we the celebrities of this world, we are members of that “different kind of kingdom” that Christ came to build. Many times the church has been tempted to get off track, to try to mingle with the kingdom of this world. Actually, that was the temptation that Christ faced when He first began His ministry, He was offered the kingdoms of this world if He would only bow down. No, He was a king but a different kind of King. He is still building His secret kingdom for those who have eyes to see.