Who is your King?


            Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

            Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning me?”

            “Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me.  What have you done?” 

            Jesus answered him, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from here.”

            Pilate therefore said to him, “Are you a king then?”

            Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king.  For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”

            Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”  And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in him at all” (John 18: 33-38.)


            The Romans had conquered all of Israel decades before Jesus arrived.  The issue of kingship was a point of contention between the Romans and the Jews.  The Jews had a strong desire to be ruled over by a king, because they hated being ruled over by the Romans; a king, they believed, would give them a sense of independence.  The Romans had divided Israel up in to five provinces ruled over by leaders who were given the title of ‘Tetriarch.’  The ‘tetrarch’ of the province that encompassed Jerusalem, Herod Archelaus, requested the title of ‘King’ from the emperor of Rome, but his request was denied in 4 B.C.  Archelaus’ brother Antipas was later denied the title of King as well.  It was commonly known that a Jewish ‘King’ would incite rebellion against Roman rule, and so the title was forbidden.  In the Old Testament, God had promised that a descendent of King David would eternally sit on the thrown.  Jesus Christ, being a descendent of David, had ridden through the gates of Jerusalem on a donkey just days earlier, signaling the people’s acceptance of him as king (but what kind of king?  It was the fulfillment of the promise by God to provide an eternal king.  The kingship Jesus had accepted was “not of this world.”  His kingdom was not an earthly kingdom, for nothing earthly is eternal.)  The religious leaders wanted a king, just not Jesus Christ; so they accused him of opposing Rome by taking the title of ‘king.’  Jesus revealed to Pilate that he came to testify about the coming kingdom of God.  His kingship had come from a higher authority than that of a Cesar; his kingship was given to him from the one true and living God.  He also testified that his subjects in this kingdom would be obedient to his words.  Pilate realized the nature of what Jesus was saying to him, and found him not guilty of subverting the earthly authority of the Roman Empire; and yet he was still crucified.

            Today, the majority of people play different roles.  A man or woman can be an architect, a parent, a business owner, a son or daughter, an aunt or uncle, a brother or sister, all at the same time.  Each role may require a different set of actions and responsibilities.  However, just occasionally there are roles that are so pervasive they spill over in to every area of life, and in to every role that a person plays.

            Being a subject of the Kingdom of God is one such role.  We firstly follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, because he is our king.  If a certain role contradicts his teachings, we don’t reject obedience to him in order to fulfill the responsibilities of that role.  Often times the role itself must be rejected so we can maintain our subjection to him.  (For instance, drug dealer and subject of the Lord are incompatible.  So drug dealing must be abandoned in order to serve the Lord.)  We are his subjects, in this world, doing his will, in a place filled with evil and disobedience.  We are going to stand out, we are going to be different, but it will be love that makes us different; it will be the Spirit of God that makes us stand out.  May God be with you, and may you serve Him, until he comes, or you go to meet him.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask and pray that You be our King.  Give us a heart to be obedient to Your teaching, here in this world.  Help us to serve You with a joyful heart, and to withstand the temptations that could carry us away from our faith and trust in You.  Help us to be looking forward, always to Your ‘Coming Kingdom.’  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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