Date: Wednesday, September 4
Scripture: John 18:28-38
Verse: Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33)
Everybody serves somebody or something. I know that’s a bit trite, but it’s true. Some are slaves to their addictions, others to their relationships. Some live for power, others for money. Some give in to every desire, others will drop everything to receive a compliment. We call them drives, motives, and desires. We could just as easily call them kingdoms.
In their own way, each of the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – highlights the conflict between the Kingdom of God Jesus is ushering in and the kingdoms of the world. The conflict is played out in Jesus’s run-ins with religious and civil authorities. It is the primary story behind Jesus’ healings, exorcisms, and the feeding stories. On every page, we are confronted with a choice between these two kingdoms, and are reminded we are making a choice every day.
In these latter chapters of John this issue comes to a climactic moment. All three parties are there: Jesus, Rome, and Judaism, and all three make statements about Jesus’ kingship. Pilate asks the question on everyone’s mind, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answers by redefining kingship, “My kingdom is not from this world” (vs 36). Jesus serves a different Kingdom, one that is not from here, but is here, and will come fully one day.
We must choose which kingdom we will serve.
Prayer: Lead me, O God, in your Kingdom way. Amen.
Action: Take an inventory of your drives, desires, motivations and which kingdoms you are serving.
Respond: How do you see alternate kingdoms at work in our world? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.