So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 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.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
In this section of scripture Jesus is now in the headquarters of Pilate. Pilate asks him if he is the King of the Jews, and Jesus answers by asking him is someone told him this or if he believes this because he has believed in Jesus (V. 33-34). Pilate answers by clarifying the question and asking Jesus what he has done because his own nation has delivered Jesus over to Pilate. Jesus then makes it clear that his kingdom and nation are not of this world, but if it were of this world his servants (disciples) would be fighting to free him, but instead he is delivered over to Pilate because his kingdom isn’t here (V. 35-36). Then Pilate tries to confirm that Jesus is a king, and Jesus says that he came into the world to bear witness about the truth (the truth of God) and that everyone who is of the truth or believes in the truth listens to his voice and follows him (V. 37-38).
Jesus has been delivered over to Pilate because he was arrested by the Jewish leaders and they want him to be killed. In order for him to be killed they must deliver him over to the Romans because only the Romans could do executions in that day. Also, the Jews wanted it to happen soon because according to their custom a man could not be put to death during the Passover. Within the book of John this happens right after Jesus gives his high priestly prayer which is the end of his instructions to his disciples. It is almost his farewell prayer to God on their behalf. Also, just has Jesus has done throughout the book of John he is making it clear to Pilate that his kingdom is not of this world and that if it was his disciples would be fighting to free him.
Jesus is continually making it clear in this passage that he is a king, but that his kingdom is not of this world. Though he is king over all created things he is trying to make the point that his kingdom is bigger than just this world. It is a kingdom that is far beyond all created things and yet it is over all created things.
The main point of this passage is that Jesus is a king, but that his kingdom is a heavenly kingdom. Therefore he came into the world to give witness about the truth of his kingdom, and those who listen and follow him are working for those kingdom purposes and not for earthly purposes.
From this passage we should realize that this earth is not our kingdom. Yes, we have been put here to live and work, but we are not working to gain great riches in this life, but we are here to work for the building up of God’s eternal kingdom. This means that our purpose is to live out and spread the truth of Christ in every area of our life including our schooling, work, home, sports, community, etc… Every part of our life is meant to reflect the truth of Christ and his kingdom. This means that we live to honor God and make him known, and we don’t live for ourselves.
- What do your actions say about what you believe to be true of Jesus?
- How often do you actively think about God’s kingdom in your daily life and decisions?
- What is one area of your life where you need to be seeking after Jesus and his will more than your own?