JOHN | My Kingdom Is Not Of This World { DAY EIGHTEEN }

 

READ: JOHN EIGHTEEN, ESV

“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 18:36 }.

My servants would have been fighting. Interesting. That is exactly what Peter initially attempted to do when he cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest when Jesus was arrested. Peter wanted to prevent Jesus’ arrest:

“Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus). So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword in its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” { John 18:10-11

Makes sense, right? Wouldn’t you want to prevent someone you loved, who was innocent, from being arrested? Peter was not looking at the bigger picture though, the Kingdom picture. Though Jesus told them many times, the disciples just didn’t get it, and that includes Peter. They didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about when he told them that he would soon be arrested and handed over to be crucified. Peter actually rebuked Jesus when he told them about his upcoming arrest, crucifixion, and being raised from the dead (notice that Peter didn’t seem to acknowledge though that Jesus said he would raise from the dead, his mind was too focused on the death part).

Was Jesus’ reply to Peter, “Thanks Peter for loving me so much that you don’t want me to die?” NO! His response was, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” { Matthew 16:23 }. Wow! But it still did not make sense to Peter. How could that be part of his plan?

Have you ever wondered, “How can this be part of your plan, God?” when something seemingly nonsensical has happened in your life? I definitely have, many times. One time in particular stands out. During my first pregnancy, when I was 20 weeks pregnant, my husband and I went to the Doctor to find out if we were having a boy or girl. Instead, we found out that our sweet baby’s heart was no longer beating. I felt like my heart stopped as well. I was heartbroken, but felt the Lord’s peace in such an indescribable way. 3 months later, we found out we were pregnant again! 9 weeks into that pregnancy we again lost our precious baby. This time though, instead of being at peace, I was out right mad…at God!! I’m not the type of person that gets mad at God often, but this set me off a bit. I had a hard time praying. One day, I decided to journal and write a letter to my babies in heaven. As I wrote, it was as if they were speaking back to me saying, don’t stay mad at God mommy, you only see and know a little bit, but we see and know it all because we are with Jesus.  We see the big picture, and God is good!”  I was speechless and humbled. I saw things very differently after that. I was reminded of Jesus’ words, “My Kingdom is not of this world.”

It’s often when our world is turned upside down that we most ache for the Kingdom that is not of this world. We live in a fallen, broken world, where nonsensical and tragic things happen. God is still in control though; He brings good from bad, beauty from ashes, and faith from grief, with His eternal kingdom in mind.

We have to remember that we only know “in part.” Jesus knows fully; we need to trust him both for what he has already shown us and for what only he knows. There is a much bigger picture. At first, even Peter didn’t see this bigger picture, but once he got it, wow, he was never the same!  After his time spent with his resurrected Savior, Jesus’ ascension, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter understood what Jesus had taught him and the other disciples when He was with them. From that point on his life was lived for Jesus and His Kingdom that is not of this world.

O, sister, may we do the same!

Reflect: 

  • Think about a time in the past when you have asked God, “How can this be part of your plan?” What good have you seen God bring out of the situation that caused you to ask that question?
  • What is keeping you/distracting you from ‘seeking the things that are above, where Christ is seated?’
  • In what ways are you like Peter was, seeking what you think is good, but not looking at the bigger picture?

 

Prayer:

O Lord Jesus, thank you that your wisdom, love, and plans, so vastly exceed ours! Thank you that no experience, tear, or trial is without purpose; nothing is wasted in your kingdom! May we seek the things that are above as we live our lives here for you below. May all we do, even the seemingly mundane daily activities, be done unto you and for your glory! May we trust you and take you at your word, even when we don’t understand. In the mighty name of Jesus I ask these things!

 

 

Cari Weber
Cari Weber
Cari Lee Weber is blessed to be a follower of Jesus Christ, a wife to Trevor, and mommy to Eliana and Rylee. Her passion is to know Christ and make Him known and to stir up and encourage those around her in their precious and powerful relationships with Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:2-3 speak her desire best—that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

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