Sunday, December 10, 2006

Jesus and Pilate

After he had been arrested, Jesus had an interesting discussion with Pontius Pilate about the nature of kingship. He 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 (John 18:36).
Jesus was not saying that his kingdom was spiritual, without any impact on the world. Rather he was literally saying that his kingdom does not come “our of the world system”. It has nothing to do with the world system. If it did, his followers would take up arms and fight for him. The fact that they did not fight is proof that his Kingdom is different.

This was a radical claim. Christians often assume that as the Kingdom of God advances the political system will be Christianised. This is not true. Jesus Kingdom is totally different from anything in the world. The world system is based on force and coercion. Pilate understood this well. Force is so strongly rooted in the political system that it cannot be modified or Christianised. It will have to be replaced by something totally different , that does not depend on force.
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. (Matt 20:25-26).
Jesus does not want Christians "lording it over" the rest of society. That would be contrary to the gospel.

We should also understand that democracy is just another method of "lording it over people". The majority just "lord it over" the various minorities. We think it is bit safer, becasue we hope that if the people "lording it over us" get too rough, we can vote them out of power. This is often a vain hope.

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