Not of this World

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: John 18

"When Jesus said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground." - John 18:6 ESV

Why would these soldiers draw back and fall to the ground with these simple words? Because Jesus truly is the great “I am,” the eternal one, the one whose words have power like no earthly man.

"Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, "You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not."" - John 18:15-17 ESV

This “other disciple” is John. John, the author of the book of John, was known to the high priest and was allowed to enter into the courtyard with Jesus. Then, John bought Peter in. It seems to me that John is willing to identify himself with Jesus, but Peter isn’t. Peter insists even to a mere servant girl that he is not one of Jesus’s disciples.

I have to ask myself, am I more like John – willing to identify myself with Christ even with his enemies … or more like Peter, afraid to stand up for Christ even with a stranger.

Isn’t it awesome to read Jesus say, “I am he,” while Peter says, “I am not.” Indeed, Jesus is the “I am,” while I am certainly an “I am not.”

"So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?" 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 18:33-36 ESV

This reminded me of John 1:10-12, “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Jesus’s own people, the Jews, had rejected him, yet here is Pilate, a Roman, asking Jesus if he is the king of the Jews.

Jesus’s kingdom is not over any specific group of people, and His kingdom is not in the here and now of this earthly world, Rather, Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the eternal King over all, the One who will reign for all eternity over all heaven and earth.

Which reminded me of Revelation 21. Here’s just a few verses — go read the whole chapter for yourself.

"And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day--and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life." - Revelation 21:22-27 ESV

I look forward to the day when I’ll be able to see the Great King face-to-face, where all things will be new, where there will be no more crying or pain, no more war or persecution … forever and ever. Won’t you join me there?

Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father,

We look forward to the day when Your will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We pray for those who haven’t yet bowed their knees to Jesus and ask You to open their eyes to the reality of Christ as King.

We pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who risk their lives and their livelihood to stand with Christ. We pray that You will help us to be bold, to not be ashamed of the gospel for it is the power to save both the Jew and the Gentle.

Thank You for inviting us into Your kingdom. You are the great, everlasting “I am.” And we are the “I am nots.” Help us to remember that. Help us to willingly humble ourselves before Your throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

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