Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Kingdom

John 18:36 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."

36 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς· ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου· εἰ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἦν ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμή, οἱ ὑπηρέται οἱ ἐμοὶ ἠγωνίζοντο [ἂν] ἵνα μὴ παραδοθῶ τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις· νῦν δὲ ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐντεῦθεν.

This was Jesus' answer to Pilate. Pilate didn't really understand what Jesus was all about and this answer didn't help things much. But it helps us when we consider what Jesus came to do.

The Jews were confused because they were sure that He came to establish an earthly kingdom. In fact, that's what they asked Him about in Acts 1. They were all set for Him to depose the Romans and set up His rule from Jerusalem. What nobody seemed to get is that He had to suffer and die on the cross first and then be raised on the third day.

Jesus had told them that the "Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Here we see that His kingdom is established. It's just not what everyone expected. Eventually He is going to return and reign in glory over the New Heavens and New Earth. Until then, His kingdom is a spiritual one.

Normally, I have a practical application from what I write, but here I don't. Instead, I just think that this gives me a hermeneutical principle as I read the Gospels. Enjoy!

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