“My Kingdom Is Not Of This World”
Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?"
They answered and said to him, "If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you."
Then Pilate said to them, "You take Him and judge Him according to your law."
Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death," that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.
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?"
Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?"
Jesus answered, "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."
The ‘Praetorium’ is sometimes translated as ‘judgement hall’, although it was the residence of the local Procurator or governor of a Roman province. John lays out for us clearly, the religiosity and legalism which has bound the players in this tragedy; a tragedy which is also a glorious outworking of God’s plan.
Everything is according to the Law. But whose law? Roman law? Jewish law? What is on trial here is God’s law, and no one but Jesus seems to know what that is — despite what should be great learning and consideration by others involved. But then, they did not have the tools to judge correctly, or rather chose to go with tradition and religious form, blinding themselves to truth and life.
What is hard to accept for us with faith today, is that we too can be drawn to form and tradition — we like the comfort of the familiar and the tried and tested. This is a barrier to hearing the Holy Spirit’s guidance with clarity — His kingdom is not of this world — and each who knows Him has been chosen to enter; but it is a process, a learning requiring an abandonment to Jesus Christ. Giving up our right to ourselves is difficult to deal with, even although we have no such right — we have been bought at a price.
Jesus shows us the way, and it requires taking a stand against forces that do not understand Him. We are not from around here either. The question I must ask myself is, will I remain sitting, or will I stand?
Meditate On These Things
1 PETER 2:9-12
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
having your conduct honourable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
NOT OF THIS WORLD — Petra
A HOLY PROMISE: Oswald Chambers on HOPE
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART