Sermon Outline On John 18:33-37
Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
Jesus 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.”
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ That is Pilate’s question for Jesus. We find Jesus before Pilate and Pilate is protecting his turf. It’s kind of like when Jesus was born. King Herod was told by the wise men that a king was to be born, and Herod tried to eliminate what he saw as the competition.
A king was to be born. A king was soon to die. A king lived. A king lives!
Pilate and Herod had one idea about what it meant to be a king. What does it mean to be a king?
1) A king is one who rules because he is appointed by God. To become king required the proper lineage. One had to be a member of the royal family.
2) A king is a ruler with subjects. The king has absolute power and rules over others.
3) A king has an army. There are soldiers who are loyal to their ruler, their king. They go into battle often with the king leading the way.
4) Kings are good, and kings are bad. Israel insisted that God give them a king to rule over them. The first was Saul. Saul was originally a good king. In Saul’s later years he was not so good. Next was King David. God loved King David. David was a man after God’s own heart. 1 Sam 13:14 King David was good and yet King David was bad. David, while he did many good things, was a murderer and adulterer.
Israel and Judea went through a sucession of good and evil kings. For example Hezekiah followed his father Ahaz as King of Judea. Ahaz had allowed the people to worship idols and stray from the worship of the God of Israel. The nation became a nation of idol worshippers. King Hezekiah came into power and returned the nation to the worship of the one God.
In the history of Israel, kings came and kings went. By the time of Jesus, the nation of Israel was under the control of the Roman Empire. They no longer had their own king. They were oppressed by the Romans. Their rulers were now foreigners.
What does a king look like? Shakespeare’s Hamlet said a king should have the qualities of grace and leadership. He should be well rounded and reverent.
King David in his departing words suggested that a king should rule in righteousness and in fear of God.
Pilate had his idea of what a king should be like. Jesus had a different idea. Pilate had a worldly notion of kingdoms. Jesus was thinking about a totally different kind of kingdom. Jesus said to Pilate, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ John Wesley in his commentary says that Jesus is speaking of a spiritual kingdom. What kind of king is this man Jesus?
Oswald Chambers in his book, My Utmost for His Highest, describes the kingdom of Jesus as a kingdom that is within us. He quotes Luke’s gospel:
‘Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘˜The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21
Jesus is a king who will reign within you and me.
Jesus is talking about a totally different kind of kingdom. The kind of kingship that Pilate has in mind is one in which the king has absolute control. The subjects must do as the king demands. In this kingdom the king chooses his subjects.
Jesus is talking about a kingdom in which the subjects choose the king. The subjects invite the king in. We determine the size of the kingdom when we allow Jesus in as King. Jesus is talking about a spiritual kingdom.
Jesus’ kingdom is different than a worldly kingdom. In Jesus’ kingdom the King rather than taking power over our lives waits for us to invite that power into our lives. King Jesus longs to have control over every aspect of our lives, but He does not take that control. King Jesus waits for us to relinquish that control.
Saint Augustine has a slightly different slant. He wrote: ‘Jesus Christ will be Lord of all, or He will not be Lord at all.’ Augustine was not talking about all the people. Augustine was talking about all in our lives. If we withhold the least little thing from the kingship of Jesus, from the lordship of Jesus, then Jesus cannot be our Lord, our King. Is Jesus Lord of your life? Is Jesus the ruler of all in our lives? Is Jesus our King?
Jesus has done great things for those who have given him their lives. General William Booth, was the founder of the Salvation Army. Booth had and is still having a huge impact on the lives of down-and-outers all over the world. One day some one asked him his secret. Booth answered:
‘I’ll tell you my secret. God has had all there was of me. On the day I caught a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with the poor of London, I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth that there was. And if there is any power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has had all the adoration of my heart, and all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.’
General William Booth made Jesus Christ king in his life. There was this inward relationship where Booth surrendered his all to Jesus. The question today is ‘“ have you made Christ Jesus king over your life? Have I made Christ Jesus king over my life?
There is a song. It speaks of living our lives under the kingship of Jesus. It goes like this:
I’m forgiven, because You were forsaken,
and I’m accepted, You were condemned,
and I’m alive and well and your spirit is within me,
because You died and rose again.
Amazing love, how can it be,
that You my king would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true,
and it’s my joy to honor You.
In all I do I honor You.