Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
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The Jewish leaders had delivered Jesus Christ to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, accusing Jesus of claiming to be the king of the Jews. They hoped this claim would be seen as treason and rebellion against the Roman government and would lead to Pilate condemning Him to death. But Pilate could tell that they were accusing Jesus out of jealousy of His popularity.
So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33). Jesus’ answer showed His innocence of the rebellion charges and powerfully demonstrated that the Kingdom of God was different. It was not of that world, both in the sense that its origin is outside the physical world and because it was not of that time.
Jesus is the coming King of the Kingdom of God, but His purpose was not to conquer the Roman Empire then. He had told Peter to put away his sword, since God’s purpose required Christ’s sacrificial death (John 18:11).
When Jesus returns to bring God’s Kingdom, He will fight, if you can call it a fight. With all the power of the universe at His disposal, there will really be no contest (Revelation 19:11-16). The Creator God will take the lives of those who resist Him, but He also has the power and the plan to bring them back to life.
In this world, Christ’s followers do not fight and do not kill, but seek to love their enemies and live God’s way of peace (Matthew 5:9, 21-22, 43-44).
For more about the Kingdom of God, download our free booklet The Mystery of the Kingdom.