The Kingdom Is Here
Open Your Bible
Daniel 2:31-45, Matthew 3:1-17, John 1:29-34, John 18:36-37
God’s kingdom came to reign on earth in a new, decisive way through Jesus.
As a young teenager, I often dreamed of living in a faraway world, thanks to my favorite fantasy novels. I spent countless nights reading epic tales of heroes and villains, absently promising my sister/bunkmate lights out after just a few more pages. I longed to escape the realities of my broken world for the “happily ever afters” of my dog-eared paperbacks. I still do.
Jesus invites us to a kingdom that outrivals the most enchanting worlds, real or fiction. We don’t need a portal to transport us to a distant land. Instead, the good and just King has brought God’s kingdom to reign on earth, and we are transformed into His redeemed subjects. The kingdom is here, but not everyone perceives it.
In John 18, Jesus stands before Pontius Pilate, rejected by the Jewish leaders as the long-awaited Messiah and presented as a political threat. The scene between the two may seem less action-packed than the rest of Jesus’s Passion week, but the conversation is just as fascinating. The true King is in Pilate’s presence, unrecognized and misunderstood. The accused tells Pilate:
“I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this:
to testify to the truth” (John 18:37).
Pilate does not fully comprehend Jesus’s words. Although they are discussing kingdoms, they are referring to two very different realms. Pilate has in mind a limited, earthly kingdom—Jesus does not (v.36). The kingdom He has in mind is anchored in truth and characterized by righteousness, justice, and peace.
I was born for this. Jesus didn’t come to overthrow Rome’s government or to reform Jewish leadership. He came to testify to the truth and fulfill God’s will, bringing salvation to the world. He is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The good news of the gospel is that we belong to Him. Our reality is that we live on earth, but we truly belong to another world, a kingdom that does not belong to this world (John 18:36). This truth transforms us, bringing purpose and hope to the days we spend in this land.
“You are a king then?”
Pilate asked Jesus this question all those years ago (John 18:37). We can answer this question with certainty. Yes, He is the King… He is our King. His kingdom is here, active and present among us and in us. The journey He has invited us on is more epic than any hero’s tale and more wondrous than any fabled world.