Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My Kingdom Is Not Of This World

[Jesus said] My kingdom is not of this world... Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice" Pilate said, to him, "What is truth?"  ~ John 18:36

Just hours before he was crucified, Jesus said to Pilate, My kingdom is not of this world. Jesus is clear,  "I am a king, but not of this world system you represent."

From this dialogue we know there are two kingdoms. Jesus stands before Pilate, an authoritative representative of one of those kingdoms. Pilate does not represent Jesus' kingdom. In Pilate's world, Jesus is disdained and eventually murdered for the truth he spoke.

Jesus' kingdom, and the kingdom of this world, remain in conflict to this day. Why? Because Jesus said his kingdom is a kingdom built upon truth. That would mean the other kingdom is not built on truth. Also, Jesus declared himself the source of truth. Any other kingdom--to be truthful--would need to be a reflection, and echo the truth Jesus declared. That is not the case in our world.

This helps us understand why in the United States we are witnessing such a contentious struggle as we elect our President. Both persons vying for the Oval Office say they represent the truest beliefs and culture and will of the citizens of the United States of America, but neither candidate believes there is such thing as absolute truth. Within the U.S. there are many people who believe there is.

So, let us be clear. Whichever kingdom you identify with you feel conflicted. Christ's kingdom declares there is truth. But the kingdom of this world, rather than echoing Jesus' witness, echoes back Pilate's answer, "What is truth?"

From there, "truth" becomes subjective, and the two kingdoms come in conflict.

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