“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” (John 18:36)
Jesus did not deny that he was a king, in fact, he declared it was part of why he was in the world; to establish that truth. He did deny that he was going to literally sit on David’s throne in the city of Jerusalem. He came to earth to save mankind through a heavenly (spiritual) kingdom not a worldly (earthly) one.
The Jewish leaders rejected the kingdom of heaven. Unfortunately, many today are excited about the prospect of Jesus returning to earth to set up the same kingdom he denied having any part of. Those who look for a thousand year reign on earth are expecting Jesus to be on his earthly throne in Palestine.
Jesus is not a coming king, He is a reigning king. He is in heaven now sitting as king of His kingdom. Christ is king now and reigns now. He is coming back to collect His kingdom one day in the future and taking them home to live in His Father’s house. If He had no intention to reign in Jerusalem when He stood before Pilate why would He do so sometime in the future of earth?
Twice Jesus said His kingdom was not of earth. He meant it. Some believe He was frustrated and delayed the kingdom because of unbelief. This makes no sense at all. He plainly said He had legions of angels at His beck and call and setting up the kingdom in spite of a few Jewish leaders would have been simple. The people would have supported Him, we know that from the scene at the triumphant entry. Even the Romans would have been powerless to keep Him from doing that very thing. He said, that He did not intend to be king of the physical earth.
Task for Today: The Kingdom of Heaven is here today. Are you a part of it? Will you acknowledge Jesus as your king, now? Will you serve Him and honor Him as king of heaven and earth as He reigns at His Father’s right-hand today? Don’t wait for a kingdom to come, submit to the One who reigns now.