What Kind of King

Peter Barnes: John18:33-38

(14 July 2019)


– 1 Tim.6:13-14; John 1:49. There is a contrast between the kings of this world and Jesus as the king in God’s kingdom.

1. Jesus’ kingdom is divine and not of this world.

– 18:33, 34-35. Pilate is incredulous – Jesus does not look like a king. He wants to know whether Jesus is a threat to the Roman empire.

– Matt.2:1-3, 16-18; John 6:15. Even Jesus’ disciples misunderstood the nature of His kingship – Matt.20:20-21, 25-26. Also Acts 17:6-7.

– 18:36. Jesus’ kingdom comes from another world – note 1:10; 3:13, 31; 6:33, 50-51, 58, 62; 8:23; see Ezek.34:15-16.

2. Jesus’ kingdom is not won by worldly means.

– 18:36. Peter got it wrong in John 18:10-11. See 2 Cor.10:3-5 and Matt.20:25-27. See Matt.9:36-38.

– Martin Luther: ‘I did nothing. The Word did it all. Had I desired to foment trouble, I could have brought such bloodshed upon Germany. Yea, I could have started such a little game at Worms, that the Emperor would not have been safe. But what would it have been? A mug’s game. I left it to the Word.’ ‘With force of arms we nothing can,’ wrote Luther.

3. Jesus’ kingdom grows as people believe the truth.

– 18:37. Leon Morris paraphrases it as ‘I didn’t say that, but if you put it that way I can scarcely say “No”‘. Jesus offends in John 7:7; 8:39-40, 45. Simone Weil: ‘Christ likes us to prefer truth to him because, before being Christ, he is truth. If one turns aside from him to go to the truth, one will not go far before falling into his arms.’ Christ is truth incarnate (John 14:6).