Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Which Kingdom Do We Pursue?

After Jesus was betrayed by Judas, he begins a cycle of trials before Pilate and Herod. At one of them, Pilate and Jesus have a conversation (John 18:33-38, the following is my paraphrase)
Pilate: Jesus, are you the King of the Jews? 
Jesus: Do you say this on your own, or did others say that to you about me? 
Pilate: Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done? 
Jesus: 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 of this world. 
Pilate: So you are a king? 
Jesus: You say that I am a king. But it was for this purpose that I was born and came into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.
After this interaction, Pilate goes back to the religious leaders and tells them that he finds no fault in Jesus. He might think that Jesus is crazy, but he doesn't think that Jesus deserves to be killed.

There is so much here in this short passage, but I was struck this morning at Jesus' statement of His kingdom not being of this world. I have preached that often. I have talked to people about being focused upon the eternal and not the temporal. I have encouraged others to stop seeking out the things of the world. This is nothing novel in my theology or probably yours. But as I read it this morning, I was once again struck by this thought: 

How much time do I spend seeking a kingdom of this world vs. a kingdom not of this world?

Maybe that's a good question for you to ask today as well. If Jesus' kingdom is not of this world, then I do not want to be seeking a kingdom of this world. This will be forefront of my mind today as I work here in this world. Maybe it will be for you as well.

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