The crowds wanted Jesus to be an earthly King. The disciples thought they wanted Jesus to be an earthly King. Those in authority feared Jesus would become an earthly King. Sometimes I wish Jesus were an earthly King. But He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
Maybe a better way to look at it is His kingdom is IN the world but not OF this world. The new command He gave was to love one another. He went on to explain that people would identify His disciples, those in His ‘army’, by the way they radically loved others. We are commanded to love one another in this world. But the love is not earthly love. It is a love that come from Jesus. He first loved us and calls us to go out and share His love with others.
Jesus’ kingdom is based on His love with a good dose of forgiveness and reconciliation thrown in. Jesus knew the normal world operated on violence, coercion, force, power, might. So in living in this world, He knew His disciples would have to back that love up with forgiveness and reconciliation. A Christian’s mode of operation and response to the world is based on love. Love can overcome all things, including violence, coercion, …
God invites us to live from His kingdom’s view. He commands us to love one another. And as a ‘reward’ He says the world will know we are Christians by our love. It is an identifier. It is a choice that makes some wonder what we’ve got, what makes us so different from the world. May we make many curious today!
Scripture reference: John 18: 33-37