Title: Gospel of John [18:36-37]. Christ's trials, part 8. Before Pilate.
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."
1CO 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
The resurrection body will be a spiritual body. By that we do not mean that it will be composed of some intangible, vapory, illusive substance. It will be a body in which the spiritual life of man will predominate. That is, the individual will be occupied for the most part with the things of God, His worship, His fellowship, His service, while to a far less degree will one be occupied with the soul life.
1CO 15:45 So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul. " The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1CO 15:46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
1CO 15:47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.
1CO 15:48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
1CO 15:49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1CO 15:50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
"My kingdom is not of this world."
The Rapture: Even those who are alive when Christ returns in the clouds to get His bride must be changed.
1CO 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1CO 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
1CO 15:53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1CO 15:54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory.
The Jews of Christ’s time see death as the ultimate defeat which could never happen to the Messiah. They see the cross as nothing more than God's curse on the man Jesus.
They failed to see that He would defeat sin and death. One wonders how the scribes and rabbis of the time interpreted such verses as:
He will swallow up death for all time,
And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces,
And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.
Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
Shall I redeem them from death?
O Death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol, where is your sting?
1CO 15:55 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
1CO 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;
1CO 15:57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1CO 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
Divine good fruit as the spoils of the eternal kingdom, all of which belongs to Christ, are themselves eternal and so our toil in them is never in vain.
It doesn't matter who sees them or if they are recognized, and better so if they are not, for then you can know for sure if you attempt to serve in the seeking of glory from one another.
JOH 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."
It is the only type of king that Pilate is aware of. Jesus clarifies this. His kingdom is not of this world. If it were, it would be like every other worldly kingdom in which the servants would have fought for their master not to be arrested. No one fought to prevent His arrest. The one who attempted it was told by Him to stop.
JOH 18:11 "Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?"
Speaking of the anarchy in Judaea which followed Herod's death in 4 BC, Josephus says: 'Any one might make himself king by putting himself at the head of a band of rebels whom he fell in with.'
This is all Pilate sees Him as and so initially pronounces Him innocent.
It is better understood if we arrange the words to say, "If My kingdom were worldly then My servants would be fighting, that I would not have been arrested in the first place, but My kingdom is not worldly but of the Truth."
And by implication, since it is not a worldly kingdom, He will gain victory and authority through love and sacrifice, through the cup of the Father and not the sword.
Some people have taken these words to mean that they should take up arms to fight against the world system, whether on the battlefield or in the political arena. So much of popular Christianity is involved in the task of attempting to destroy evil in the world and to clean up the world by making it more moral. They have not understood just as our Lord's accusers did not understand the implication of the Lord's statement that He would destroy and rebuilt the temple.
Christ's kingdom was not what the Jews of the last three centuries had expected of their Messiah.
JOH 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king [the only part that the synoptics record]. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
"I have been born" and "I have come" are both in the perfect tense. God's purpose will be done.
Born is in the passive voice while "come" is in the active voice - the Father sent Me and I have willingly come and We will accomplish all our good pleasure. The birth and incarnation are therefore presented by Christ not just as historical facts, which would be the case of any person who does not have a divine purpose, but as a part of a purpose that is abiding forever.
We must all see our reality in this light. Since we are a part of an eternal kingdom that has a very real purpose that will be accomplished, we must see our reality through the lens of purpose and not just in terms of stuff happens.
Compare the confessions before Pilate and the High Priest.
HP: Framed in the language of prophecy - the Second Coming.
Pilate: Appeals to universal testimony of conscience - the incarnate truth.
Westcott states: "The one, addressed to the Jews, is framed in the language of prophecy; the other, addressed to a Roman, appeals to the universal testimony of conscience. The one speaks of a future manifestation of glory, the other speaks of a present manifestation of truth. The one looks forward to the Return, the other looks backward to the Incarnation"
A great event is brought out here and that is the calling out of the Church from those who are on the earth and who were once the slaves of Satan's kingdom as well as the fulfillment of all the promises to Abraham and subsequently Israel.
"For this reason I have been born."
The reason for the virgin birth is so that Christ, who has been eternally the Son of God (David's Lord), would be the qualified sacrificial Lamb (David's Son) in order to save Jew and Gentiles that would flow into His kingdom. For all OT believers that kingdom would be the Messianic or Millennial Kingdom and for the believers from the Church age, a spiritual and heavenly Kingdom who would comprise His body and be forever His bride as the King of kings and Lord of lords and the High Priest over a kingdom of priests.
Born into the world - so that the Son of God fulfills the titles of King of the Jews (Son of David) and King of kings and Lord of lords.
Before His birth every believer heard His voice through the Law and the prophets and writers and through faith became of the truth by believing the only truth that led to salvation, example Abraham, GEN 15:6.
During His lifetime on earth every believer heard His voice through Him directly or through the disciples that He sent out and through faith became of the truth by believing the only truth - that salvation was in no other but the Lord Jesus Christ.
After His death every believer heard His voice through the apostles and other disciples and through faith became of the truth by believing the only truth - there is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved.
Any of these who died before the beginning of the CA would flow into the Messianic Kingdom and any after would flow to the heavenly kingdom, both of which are under Christ's authority and both will be presented to the Father at the end of human history.
then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
The difference between the eternity of Israel and the church are in position and privilege but not physical separation.
It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.
Don't worry, there will be plenty of room.