One Everlasting Kingdom

When Jesus first appeared in Galilee, he proclaimed the “Kingdom of God” – “Repent, for the kingdom is at hand.” In his ministry, death and resurrection, God’s reign began to invade the Earth. But this realm is of an entirely different nature to the political systems of this world. It is not built on violence, oppression, and conquest, but instead, on mercy and the Cross. Moreover, unlike ALL past and present nations and empires, his Messianic Kingdom will never fall, it will endure forevermore.

On more than one occasion, Jesus refused the kind of political power that dominates this evil age, especially when Satan offered it by tempting him with sovereignty over “all the kingdoms of the world.”

Mountain Colorado - Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash
[Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash]

According to the
Gospel of Matthew, for him to attain absolute power over nations and peoples, all the Nazarene needed to do was “render homage” to the Devil and acknowledge his overlordship – (Matthew 4:1-10).

Most remarkably, at the time Jesus did NOT dispute Satan’s “right” to dispense political power, though he refused it all the same. Instead, he submitted to the path of the Suffering Servant of Yahweh. His ministry on the Earth would culminate with his death at the hands of the World Empire - (Matthew 4:8-11, Luke 4:5-7).


In this age, the price of power over others is submission to Satan’s authority and agenda. According to the Devil, the kingdoms of this world “have been delivered to me and I give them to whomever I will.”

Although he was the Messiah appointed by God to “shepherd the nations of the Earth,” Jesus refused this satanic offer. Scripture confirmed his calling to reign over this world, yet he rejected the kind of power valued so highly by the rulers and people of this world.

But how could God’s designated king reign over rebellious nations and peoples without the military and economic might of the Almighty State? - (Psalm 2:6-8, Revelation 12:5).

Rather than resort to the political means of this age, Jesus embraced the Cross. In the “Kingdom of God,” victory is achieved through self-denial and service to others, not power over them.

In his domain, “greatness” is measured by self-sacrificial service and acts of mercy. Rather than threatening or dominating other men, Jesus “gave his life a ransom for many,” and his real-world example provides his disciples with the pattern for implementing God’s Kingdom on Earth.

However, the temptation in the “wilderness” was not the end of Satan’s political intrigues. Following his rebuff, “the Devil departed from him until an opportune time.”


After miraculously feeding a multitude in Galilee, certain members of the crowd planned “to come and seize him to make him king.” But Jesus walked away at the very moment the mob was determined to crown him. His refusal turned many minds against him.

The Son of Man would not become the militaristic messiah that so many of his contemporaries craved. And the closer he came to his death, the more the fickle crowds rejected him as the Messiah of Israel. A “Suffering Servant” did not fit their concept of royalty and kingship - (Luke 4:13, John 6:15).

Prior to his execution, Pontius Pilate inquired whether Jesus was “the king of the Jews.” Before Caesar’s representative, he did not deny his kingly destiny, and he responded, “You say that I am a king, and for this, I was born.” But he qualified his kingship by stating, “My Kingdom is not FROM (ek) this world - (John 18:33-36).

That did not mean that his Kingdom was strictly “spiritual” or otherworldly, or that his messianic program was nonpolitical. But the source of his sovereignty was other than the political power that characterized and dominated the world of his (and our) day. It was the “Suffering Servant” and his sacrifice that brought redemption into the world, not Rome, and his Kingdom is ruled by the “slain Lamb,” not Caesar.

Pilate found no fault in the Nazarene. But at the instigation of the Temple authorities, the crowd demanded that Pilate release Barabbas instead, a man described in the gospels as a léstés (Greek) or “brigand.” It seems the priestly leaders of Israel preferred a violent political revolutionary to the Servant of Yahweh.


Contrary to the expectations of his contemporaries, Jesus “took on the form of a slave” and became “obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” Because of his choice, God bestowed on him “the name, which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Exaltation was preceded by the Cross.

Moreover, his disciples are summoned to live by the very same mindset displayed by him when he gave his life as a “ransom for many.” As Paul wrote, “Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” - (Philippians 2:1-11).

The choice before his followers is between the cruciform pathway trod by Jesus or the expedient and smooth highway offered by Satan. Jesus declared that when he was “lifted up” on the cross, then he would “draw all men to me,” not by seating himself on Caesar’s imperial throne. In the end, only one Kingdom will be left standing and it will not be Rome.

Jesus summons all men to “deny themselves, take up the cross,” and follow him. The rough way of the Cross is the only one that leads to citizenship in the Kingdom of God. All men who refuse to emulate his example by taking up the Cross are “unworthy” of him and unfit for inclusion in his glorious and everlasting Kingdom.



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