Sunday 22 November 2009

Bible Book:

"So you are a king?" (v.37)

John 18:33-37 Sunday 22 November 2009


In the last hours of his life, Jesus was handed over to theJewish leaders who arrested him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Theypassed him onto Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who asked themto tell him what crime Jesus has committed. The Jewish leaderswanted Pilate to try him and then condemn him to death. But Pilateappears to be intrigued by Jesus and repeatedly asks him reallyopen questions - Are you the king of the Jews? Are you a king then?What have you done?

Jesus does not answer the questions but instead offers a statementabout the kingdom, which is not an earthly, physical one. Jesus isnot claiming to rule over people or places. The word he uses reallymeans 'rule' rather than a location or place.

Jesus repeatedly taught his friends and the crowds things aboutthis kingdom, where the last shall be first and the first last (Mark 10:31), wheretiny little things like mustard seeds can grow into hugeflourishing trees which nurture animals in its branches (Luke 13:18-19),where children are valued, placed in the centre and not ignored,and where you belong to the kingdom if you can be like a littlechild (Matthew19:13-15).

Jesus is clear when talking about this kingdom that this is quite adifferent matter from Pilate's rule, power and authority. Jesus hasspoken of this kingdom being within people already if they followhim (Luke17:21). This king rule by love and invitation and not force.This kingdom values and gives worth to the poor, the dispossessed,the weak and those of no status. It is an upside-down kingdom wherethe king comes and serves others and gives his life for all.

To Ponder

Jesus disturbs people because he values thepowerless rather than the powerful. Who do you value most? Why? Whovalues you?

What would it mean for the kingdom of God to be'within' you? What would be turned upside down in your life?

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