Summary: A sermon for Christ the King Sunday to highlight that God’s kingdom is about more forgiveness and less about force and the human way of power.
Wouldn’t, life be much easier if everyone saw things the same way?
Imagine if you and your family all agreed on everything.
The reality is though we don’t.
Some people see bigger as better, others see it as worse.
Some believe the new workplace relations are wonderful, others feel they are the worse thing in the world.
And as the advert for the serviettes says some prefer to scrunch and others fold.
And as we again listen to our Gospel reading today,
listen to the clash of two points of view.
The world of Pilate and the world of Jesus colliding
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king.
In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.
Pilate understood there was something different about Jesus,
but he wasn’t quite sure what it was.
Pilate was used to ruling by power, by force.
Remember Pilate wasn’t a Jew.
He wasn’t fully aware of Jewish laws and customs
and so he asks Jesus to clarify why he has had charges brought against him.
And after listening to Jesus response he finds there is no basis for the charge.
This Gospel reading shows us something very important.
That the kingdom of Jesus operates very differently to how this world operates.
To get a picture of the main concerns of the world,
look at the news,
and read a paper.
What dominates is power, punishment, security, prestige, revenge, money and being seen to be right.
On the other hand the main goals of Jesus,
Jesus’ approach and way of life, differ greatly to how this world encourages us to live.
And we need to intentionally live as Christians
So what does this mean for us, for everyone who is called to follow Jesus?
In Matthew chapter 5, verse 16 Jesus says to you, “shine your light before people”.
And in 2nd Corinthians chapter 3, verse 18 we see that this light we shine is in fact a reflection of God’s glory.
However, this does not happen naturally?
Naturally, we do not see life God’s way.
Rather, we see it how either people around us see it,
how we think it should be
and how the devil wants us to see it.
So we constantly need God’s input in our life.
Without God’s input, we stray away from God.
Without God’s input, we can not be aware of how God wants us to live.
Without God’s input, we can not know what it truly means to be a Christian.
God’s input guides us to what is true.
Martin Luther explained this in His explanation to the Lord’s Prayer.
In particular, that part that says
Your kingdom come.
Luther indicates that the bible says,
"When we pray Your kingdom come
We are praying that God’s spirit, the Holy Spirit would guide us as we listen to, read and study His word.
So that we believe that we are part of God’s kingdom of grace,
and that his kingdom is the way to live now and forever."
So God’s kingdom is not just a particular place
but a way of life.
A way of life that is only available through Jesus.
In John chapter 14, verse 6 Jesus reminds us that He is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father, accept by Him.
And as you open the pages of scripture and look at the life of Jesus.
You see a very different attitude and approach to life from Jesus than what we normally experience in the world we live.
For a start consider Jesus main aim in coming to earth.
We find this in John chapter 3, verse 17.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
The main reason Jesus came to earth is to save me, you and everyone else.