An Eternal, Spiritual Kingdom
Today’s reading: II Chronicles 32-33; John 18:24-40
7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. 8 With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. II Chronicles 32:7-8
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.” John 18:36
Our ultimate hope is not in the triumph of an earthly kingdom, but in the coming of the Kingdom of God, a new heavens and earth. Meanwhile, we live in a passing kingdom and are called to glorify and serve God while we await the eternal and spiritual kingdom.
Pilate, the Roman governor, was presented with Jesus to be tried, yet no charges were filed against Him. Rightly, Pilate wanted clarification as to the offenses of the prisoner. It finally came out that Jesus was claiming to be a king although His kingdom was not an earthly one and His followers were not mounting any kind of attack against the powers of Rome. It was a bizarre exchange in which Pilate looks confused and perplexed. He tries to release Jesus but finally succumbs to mob pressure. So much for the so-called rule of law! But since Jesus’ kingdom was not of this world, it could not be defeated by any force in this world, not even the misapplication of law in the Roman Empire.
By contrast, the kingdom of Judah in Old Testament times was a kingdom of this world. Like every aspect of the culture of Israel in those days, the priesthood, the religious ceremonies, the political structure, life in the kingdom revealed the instability of mankind and the need for a greater kingdom with a Perfect King. That King was and is Jesus. Hezekiah had some good days and saw temporary victory over the Assyrians. Manasseh was famously evil during most of his life, but in the end he repented. Amon reverted to the worst days of his father. Stability eluded them. Nothing lasted long.
The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom based on truth and governed by a Perfect Eternal King. We wait for it, but we should not be idle in our waiting. What has God given you to do today to hasten the day when our faith shall be sight? Do it with all your heart. The King is coming and His kingdom is spiritual and eternal.