John 18:33-37 - My kingdom is not of this world

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

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Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”


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This is the Gospel selection that will be read aloud by a priest on the twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost, also called the Last Sunday or Christ the King Sunday [Proper 29], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow one of two prescribed pairs of readings, either Track 1 or Track 2, which will be either the last song of David [2 Samuel 23] or the vision of Daniel shown four beasts being tried by Yahweh [called the Ancient of Days]. Those Old Testament readings will be accompanied by Psalms 132 and 93, which sing (respectively): “If your children keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their children will sit upon your throne for evermore;" and, “Ever since the world began, your throne has been established; you are from everlasting.” One of those two sets (depending on the pre-established path set for an individual church) will precede a reading from John’s Revelation, where is written, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”


I wrote about this reading the last time it came up in the lectionary cycle (2018) and those views can be read by clicking on this link. At this time, I will present different views than presented then. All views are valid, as Scripture is meant to have deep and evolving meaning; so, new insights will probably come three years from now.


The whole-view of this needs to be seen, in order to realize how John witnessed this conversation between Jesus and Pilate. The four Gospels are two sets of two perspectives. One perspective is that of immediate family (Luke and John) and the other is that of extended family (Mark and Matthew). Luke tells the account of Mother Mary, while John tells the story of the son of Jesus. Mark tells the perspective of Simon Peter, a cousin of Jesus, while Matthew tells the story of a sinner saved by Jesus, who became a disciple. In this whole-view, the extended family ran and hid out of fear when Jesus was being tried. Their absence distorts the real timeline of these events. Mother Mary was present with John when Jesus was before Pilate; but only Mary was allowed to witness Jesus before Herod Antipas. The disciples could then filter into a crowd setting, when Jesus was offered to the crowd, when it was to be him or Barabbas to be set free. Because John was able to hear the conversation between Jesus and the Roman governor of Judea, he was able to get close, while Mary (being a woman) was denied close access.


The reason John was allowed to write of this, when none of the other Gospel writers did, is it presents Jesus as a king. When asked if he was the “King of the Jews,” Jesus did not deny he was a king. His seeming avoidance to the question says the question was a false premise, simply because it used the term “Jews.” By saying, “My kingdom is not from this world,” Jesus was saying he could not be deemed a “king” in the sense that other human beings could claim that title. While he had been sent only to tell the lost Israelites the truth of the promised Messiah, his “kingdom” was not physical, but spiritual. It would be the soul of Jesus that would have dominion over other souls, individually and collectively, as their claim to flesh would be included in his domain.


For John to hear Pilate respond to Jesus’ use of the word “kingdom” and then clarify, “So you are a king?,” when John heard Jesus say, “For this I was born,” that was not stated as if Jesus had achieved kingship. The proof was clear; as Jesus' thirty-something years on the earth had earning him no powers as an earthly king. The truth of what Jesus said to Pilate is this: Jesus was born to be executed as a sacrificial lamb.


The soul of Jesus “was born” when Yahweh took one of His purest elohim and joined it with the soul of Adam, making Adam be the birth of a Yahweh elohim. This is then said by Jesus to be “to testify to the truth,” which is personal knowledge of Yahweh in divine marriage. Yahweh is truth; so, all souls that are married to Yahweh are then His possessions, where each soul “belongs to the truth.” Those will then be the souls in which Jesus will be raised within as king [thus people today call him "Lord"], with his physical domain being within those spiritual kingdoms that are those souls-in-flesh who “listen to his voice.”


This reading is then closely aligned with the last song of David, who sang “The spirit of Yahweh speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue.” The “spirit of Yahweh” said David’s soul was married to Yahweh. Yahweh’s Spirit had been poured out upon David’s soul, which was a marriage that lasts forevermore. When David then sang, “his word is upon my tongue,” that is like John writing, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” David spoke the word, because his soul had become the subject of Jesus – although that divine possession did not have that name at that time.


The reading from Daniel is a vision of the subjection of the elohim who refused to comply with Yahweh’s command to serve human souls. After the fallen angels [those who followed the beast of fire] were destroyed and subdued, the six days of Creation were finished. Then came the seventh day, when Yahweh made the soul of Jesus in the flesh we know as Adam. That plan for the seventh day was when the books were opened and religion would be found contained in Scripture. That means the spiritual element of Jesus is conveyed through the writers of the books opened, which then becomes one with the words they were divinely inspired to write. Jesus is the king whose kingdom is discernment of that truth contained in the word.


When John was divinely inspired to write in Revelation: “To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever,” this refers to the marriage of a soul to Yahweh and the birth of Jesus the king within one’s being. The element of “love” denotes the bond that brings marriage to Yahweh. A soul is then “freed” from the worldly plane, where sins are the enslavement of souls to the four beasts. The blood is that of one’s sacrifice to Yahweh, like Jesus, like the paschal lamb, so one’s bodily flesh becomes infused with the spirit of Jesus. That is the resurrection of Jesus soul with one’s own soul – Jesus reborn as king over a soul in the flesh. That presence within makes Jesus be the high priest, with one’s soul being a priest that serves Father and Son. That union is everlasting life.


As a selection to be read aloud on the last Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own ministry for Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson here is to realize what Jesus said to Pilate. One needs to be a seeker of truth. That means one should yearn to learn to love Yahweh with all one’s heart, mind, soul and strength, so He will see one's love for Him and propose marriage to one’s soul. With that divine union, a soul will merge with His Spirit. That becomes the source of truth. It means reading Scripture and being allowed to see the deeper meaning that is hidden from normal eyes. That then brings forth the resurrection of the soul of Jesus, as the king over one’s soul that has willingly entered into subjection to the truth. The Son is reborn back into flesh so the truth can be heard by other seekers of the truth, in apostleship. That is the point of ministry. Rather than play a role that kills Jesus, receive the Spirit and become Jesus reborn.

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