Thursday – March 17, 2016
Day 37 – John 18:28-40
Focus: vs. 36
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.”
Every day we are faced with choices. I woke up this morning and chose coffee over tea. We go to McDonalds and choose the chicken wrap over the Big Mac. We go to the grocery store and choose one brand of peanut butter over another. I looked at the clothes in my closet, this morning, and chose my favorite shirt out of the ones that were clean. Some choices are much bigger. I looked at my wife and thought how fortunate I am that she chose me. I also remember the most important moment in life, 25 years ago, when I was faced with the choice to accept Jesus or walk away. I chose Jesus.
Our scripture passage for today is filled with choices to make. Those in the passage made some bad choices. The Jewish leaders chose to hand Jesus over to be executed. Pilate, who saw no guilt in Jesus but chose to let him be executed anyway.
Verse 36 is an important verse in this passage and it helps us to understand why Jesus is letting all this happen. Remember how Peter was so willing to fight in the garden? Yet Jesus told him to put his sword away. Why? Because His kingdom is not of this world. If the Messiah’s real purpose was to set up an earthly kingdom and defeat the Romans, the garden moment would have been the time to make the choice to stand and fight. The people were amazed by Him and He had many loyal followers ready to fight just like Peter. But Jesus had a choice to make as well. He could follow the will of the people and defeat the Romans or he could follow the will of His Father and defeat the enemy of all mankind. Jesus had kingdom priorities – just not those of an earthly kingdom.
Where are your priorities? Which kingdom do you serve? Is your kingdom of this world? Every day we have choices to make. Most of them don’t have any eternal value but some of them are much deeper than the clothes we wear or the food we eat. There will be many moments, every day, where you choose to follow the will of God or the will of Man. When you are more interested in the Kingdom of Heaven than you are the Kingdom of Earth, you will find yourself using the kingdom priorities of Jesus to make your decisions.
Prayer Focus: Dear Jesus, I want YOUR priorities to be MY priorities. Help me to make choices, when it really matters, that reflect your will. Guide me and help me to live for You. Amen.