36 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.”
Jesus was actually living in one of the most politically charged times in history.
Israel was under foreign occupation for a long time, and the land was rife with politico-religious extremists committing acts of terror and violence against their unwelcomed rulers. The ongoing political conflicts and historical tensions bred a culture of fear and distrust, and it is of no surprise why both the Jewish and Roman authorities respectively perceived Jesus as a religious and political threat.
Standing before Pontius Pilate, Jesus pointed out His kingdom was neither a physical or political kingdom. If it were, his followers would be fighting for his freedom. Though His Kingdom is not political, it does have something to say about politics. The Book of Revelation tells us all kingdoms will one day bow before His Lordship and become His (Revelation 11:15). Until then, the church continues to preach the gospel, and believers contribute their part to build a civil and just society (cf. Romans 13:1-3; Peter 2:14).
As believers, we cannot expect any government to solve all our human problems. While a government can pass laws to uphold rights and dignity, there is no guarantee that it stays as a faithful vanguard of justice, peace and equality all the time. In short, no government is our saviour.
Our salvation comes from God through Jesus Christ.
We are thankful that Christ has given us an unshakeable kingdom (cf. Hebrews 12:28). This kingdom is within you (Luke 16:21) and you do not have to pray that it comes to you. What matters now is you are expanding this Kingdom reality for all to live and taste the grace of God in the fullest possible way.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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