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Not of this World

Updated: May 4

Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.'" (John 18:36, ESV)

‘But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control." (Philippians 3:20-21, NLT)

In the presence of Pontius Pilate, the embodiment of Roman authority in Judea, stands Jesus of Nazareth—a penniless preacher, yet one whose words resound with cosmic significance. As the cross, the symbol of domination, looms ominously in the near future, Jesus asserts, "My kingdom is not of this world."

These words reverberate with profound implications. Jesus unveils a kingdom that transcends the temporal realms of power and politics. If his kingdom were of this world, he implies, his followers would have waged earthly battles to defend him. But no such conflict arises, for Jesus' realm is of a higher order—an eternal dominion rooted in the vision and values of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Meanwhile, we, as citizens of heaven, await the triumphant return of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As we wait, we are to be an outpost of the alternative empire, seeking to bring the vision and values of the future age into the present.

Jesus' kingdom is not confined to lofty spiritual realms; it permeates every aspect of existence.

It is a kingdom that reshapes social, political, and economic landscapes, challenging the entrenched systems of oppression and privilege.

In this kingdom, the marginalised find inclusion, the oppressed find liberation, and the peacemakers find blessing.

By declaring his kingdom's otherworldly nature, Jesus offers a profound critique of earthly empires built on violence and injustice. His kingdom stands as a beacon of hope—a counterforce to the status quo, where the poor are exalted, the weak find strength, and justice flows like a mighty river.

It is a kingdom that calls us to transcend and renounce the systems and structures of domination and align ourselves with the transformative power of the Holy Spirit as we work out our allegiance to the God-Man Jesus who said, "My kingdom is not of this world."

- Swales, 2024

Art work: Master of the Beigem Altar



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