When questioned by Pilate as to his accusers, Jesus gave this answer:
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
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?”
a. Pilate’s question reveals doubt. He asked, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He asked it because Jesus didn’t look like a revolutionary or a criminal, the only types who would be foolish enough to claim to be the King of the Jews in the face of Rome.
b. Are you speaking for yourself: Jesus must clarify the question, because the Roman conception of king. To the Romans, “king” meant a political rival. Though Jesus was a King, He was not a political rival in the sense Pilate thought.
4. (Joh_18:36) Jesus explains His kingdom to Pilate.
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.”
a. My kingdom is not of this world: Jesus here declares the great and permanent difference between God’s kingdom and the kingdoms of this world. Jesus’ kingdom originates in heaven (My kingdom is not of this world). The foundation of Jesus’ kingdom is peace (His servants will not fight).
b. My kingdom is not from here: Augustine observed from this verse that earthly kingdoms are based upon force, pride, the love of human praise, the desire for domination, and self interest - all displayed by Pilate and the Roman Empire.
i. Earthly kingdoms have a purpose in that they restrain wickedness and preserve order, but they are very different from God’s kingdom, and should remain separate and distinct.
c. The heavenly kingdom, exemplified by Jesus and the cross, is based on love, sacrifice, humility, and righteousness - and is to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Gentiles foolishness (1Co_1:23).
d. Christians must take care that they live and serve with the power demonstrated by the cross, not the power of Rome. The key to living in Jesus’ kingdom is not found in trying to rule over others or things, but in being more fully ruled by God.
i. “This is the crucial point. While human politics is based on the premise that society must be changed in order to change people, in the politics of the Kingdom it is people who must be changed in order to change society.” (Charles Colson - Kingdoms In Conflict)
ii. In Jesus’ day, they were conditioned to look for salvation in political solutions - we are also tempted to further the purposes of the Kingdom by the power of this world; history shows that any gains realized are greatly offset by the liabilities of a religious state.
e. My kingdom is not from here: Pilate may have been relieved at Jesus’ answer that His kingdom was not of this world, because he didn’t know which is the stronger of the two kingdoms.
i. The eternal King who rules over the souls of men is mightier than an external foe with powerful armies. Rome is gone, Napoleon is gone, Hitler is gone, but the Kingdom of Jesus marches on.
5. (Joh_18:37-38) Jesus and Pilate discuss truth.
Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all."
Daniel also gives another aspect of the kingdom of the Son of Man, and describes His authority and power:
The Son of Man Is Given Dominion
Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Dan 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Take note that Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man throughout the gospels-revealing Himself as the same One Daniel referred to.
Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
See also: Mat_24:30, Mat_25:31, Mat_26:64; Mar_13:26, Mar_14:61-62; Luk_21:27, Luk_21:36; Joh_3:13, Joh_5:27, Joh_12:34
From the John Gill commentary:
"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,.... That is, a large, powerful, and glorious kingdom; not but that he had a kingdom before, but now it will be more extensive, and appear in greater glory: this will be fulfilled when the kingdoms of this world shall become his, and all nations shall serve and worship him, Rev_11:15, as follows:
that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; embrace his Gospel, submit to his ordinances serve and worship him in every religious duty; every people, of all nations, and of every language under heaven; which will be the case when the everlasting Gospel will be preached to them all with success, Rev_14:6,
His dominion is an everlasting dominion; it shall never have an end, as the rest of the monarchies, signified by the four beasts, have had, or will have; see Psa_14:6,
which shall not pass away; or be removed from one to another, like the above monarchies:
and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed; or "corrupted" abolished and brought to nothing, as the said monarchies were one by another; and, at last, all of them by the stone cut out of the mountain; see Dan_2:44."
When Jesus rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven-He now sits at the right hand of the Father, and has given Him a name above every other name:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
See also: Heb 12:2, Act_2:32-36, Act_5:31; Rom_14:9-11; 1Co_15:24-27; Heb_2:9, Heb_12:2; 2Pe_1:17; Rev_1:5, Rev_3:21, Rev_5:12; Rev_11:15, Rev_19:16, Eph_1:20-23;
Knowing who I belong to gives great comfort, and peace. Regardless of what happens with this election, God is on His throne. He is reigning, and using even the schemes and wickedness of these politicians-for His own purposes. They will be caught in their own devices, and will be brought to confusion. He will win, in the end.
Jesus' focus was on the heavenly kingdom, that's where my focus needs to be. We who belong to the Lord-have an eternal home waiting in heaven, our security is there, not here.
I'll do as the Lord advises, and rest at His feet, while the world rages on.
Isa 26:2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
2Th 3:16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.