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Tuesday of Lent 2

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You have said that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” — John 18:36–37

The kingdoms of this world must always fight to stay in power. Pilate’s Rome could only remain powerful, and Caesar could only remain king, by being more powerful than their enemies. In this way, every kingdom of this world is won, ruled, and continued through violence and power. In this way also, every kingdom of this world that has risen to power, has or will fall. There will always be another, more powerful king and kingdom to come.

Jesus’ kingdom is different and He is a different king. He does not win His kingdom by violence but by suffering violence. He wins His kingdom by being delivered over to the Jews and to Pilate, by being delivered to the cross for us. And there, by His death and resurrection He indeed won the victory, for He opened the kingdom of heaven to all who believe. And such a kingdom cannot fall, cannot be overthrown by force or violence. And so, we pray that this kingdom may come to us as the Father gives us the Holy Spirit, that we believe the testimony of the truth from Jesus and the apostolic witness, and that as we believe so we live, both now and forevermore.

Lord God, the kingdoms of this world rise and fall, but You have promised that your kingdom is not of this world and that it is eternal. Keep us dear Lord in that kingdom by your grace, that we may all the more believe the truth of your Holy Word, be strengthened in our faith, and love and serve our neighbor, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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