It’s the perfect time, with Easter approaching and in light of our political climate, to be pondering John 18: 28-37.
Jesus was arrested by Jewish religious leaders because they wanted Him executed. The problem was that they did not have the power to do so. So they brought Him to Pilate, the Roman governor, with false charges of insurrection.
Consider this. The Jews refused to enter the Roman palace because wanted to be ritually pure so they could enjoy Passover. The irony is that the very ones who were trying to avoid “ceremonial uncleanness” handed over the Holy One, the final Passover Lamb to the Gentiles for slaughter.
Pilate was very familiar with authority and power. So can you imagine his confusion? Standing in front of him was the accused, a seemingly common man dressed in common clothes, a calm man without arrogance and seemingly without power. I’m sure Pilate was hoping to establish just cause for the charges filed against Jesus when he asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?…What is it you have done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place…You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
The governor must have been perplexed. He obviously did not realize that standing before him was the eternal, truly sovereign King of all kings.
The same was true of many Jews in that day. They didn’t recognize Jesus as the King promised to them. They wanted a king to lead Israel to military victory over Rome. They were tired of the hostility and oppression that plagued them for centuries. They were so focused on political oppression that they lost sight of the spiritual oppression of Satan and his demonic system.
Today, 2000 plus years later, Jesus’ name may be recognized by many but His title of King is debated.
Many call Jesus King but want Him to be the king who will lead them to material victory, granting every wish for security and prosperity.
And then, there are those who want to actually be on the throne themselves, giving orders to Jesus rather than trusting and obeying the rightful King.
The Jews of Jesus’ day wanted a king wearing a crown. King Jesus wore a twisted band of thorns that was smashed down into His scalp.
They wanted a king that looked down on them from a throne. King Jesus looked down from a cross where He was nailed.
The Jews expected a king who would have servants meet his every need. But King Jesus came to serve mankind and meet our need by conquering the tyranny of sin.
They wanted a king who would rule with a physical sword. Jesus’ weapon is the truth of God, the sword of the Spirit. Through His Word, He speaks truth that displaces the lies of our enemy. It is through His Word that He reveals truth about Himself, His character, our nature and our purpose.
Our King Jesus was not born in a palace. No, He was born in a stable. He did not surround Himself with the rich and powerful. He willingly hung out with the poor and the least. He spent His time in the midst of sinners who acknowledged their unworthiness. He did not have a powerful army. He merely led a small band of followers who were misfits. He had legions of angels available at His command, yet He never used that power. He fought His battle for souls alone on a hill called Calvary.
We have a good King…a faithful King…a kind King…a loving King. Our Jesus is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. May He be praised and honored!
Questions to ponder:
Do I give Jesus kingship over certain aspects of my life but keep lordship over other parts? For example, is He King over my marriage? Is He King over my finances? Is he King over my choices?
Do I allow my agenda and plans to rule my day or do I fully submit my day to God’s direction?
Am I praying that His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven? What active role am I playing in His answer?