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Daily Reading: 10th January 2016

John 18.36

36 Jesus replied: ”My Kingdom is not of this world; if My Kingdom was of this world My attendants would fight so that I should not be delivered to the Jews. However, My Kingdom is not from here.”

Great Britain is also known as the United Kingdom, and has been since 1707 AD. It is a political union that includes England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

It was formed to unify the peoples of these nations, and to stop the fighting that had been a blight for centuries. The UK is one nation in a political and military nature. It is a worldly nation forged out of military and political manoeuvring.

Pilate had a very similar understanding to this. He was the Roman governor, representing the Roman Empire. His understanding of kingdoms was based in the world’s understanding of kingdoms and empires.

Julius Caesar, is attributed to have said: “I saw, I came, I conquered” after he has defeated Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela in 46 BC. Kingship, kingdoms, and empires were founded upon military might.

The same is true today. The kingdoms of this world rely on their military might and political diplomacy to maintain, or increase the influence of power.

This would have been the understanding of Pilate.

However, Jesus told him that His Kingdom was not of this world.

The Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven, is not reliant on military strength, or political dealings.

Instead the words of the prophet Zechariah give us a glimpse of what the Kingdom of God is like:

It is not by force nor by strength, but by My Spirit, says the LORD Almighty – Zechariah 4.6 (NLT).

Perhaps if the ‘Christian nations’ had have had this understanding many wars could have been avoided, and much infighting within the churches could have prevented thousands of martyrs being slaughtered.

Jesus clearly said that His Kingdom was not of this world. He went on to say that if it was then His attendants, would have fought to prevent Jesus from being arrested.

Peter had already tried that, and had been told to put his sword away.

The moment we received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we are born again into a different Kingdom. It is the Kingdom of light that penetrates the hearts and minds of mankind, turning them to become more like Jesus.

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