In the past 12 weeks, the focus has mainly been on Jesus, and anchored primarily in the gospel of Mark; starting from when Jesus was baptized and experienced the opened heavens; to last week’s consideration of Jesus response when he was arrested by a mob of up to a 100 persons or more sent by the Jewish leaders.
Jesus arrest by Jewish leaders, trial, beatings, and crucifixion, for doing nothing wrong, was beyond tragic. Yet, Jesus endured it all with grace and calmness. How could he do this? Sure, three years of preaching all over Galilee, and travelling south to Jerusalem on different occasions, on foot, will make you quite fit, but physical endurance was not the key to coping with troubles at this time.
Let’s peek into Jesus mindset in John 18:36 (The Living Bible): Then Jesus answered, “I am not an earthly king. If I were, my followers would have fought when I was arrested by the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of the world.”
This verse is from a conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate, the Roman administrator of Judah. The leaders who arrested Jesus, reported to Pilate that Jesus claims to be king of Judah; thus he was a rebel against Rome and should be put to death. However, Pilate found out that Jesus was not interested in Roman politics.
Jesus made clear that his kingdom is not of this world. Christians struggle with this aspect of the faith. How do we live productive and meaningful lives in this world, while placing our hope in another world to come? Well, this was a primary motivation behind Jesus calm approach to the wicked persecution he endured.
The Bible teaches that a better world will replace this present world, and that problems we face here are due to evil motivations and intentions; the world to come will be better because evil will no longer be there. These are important issues in our Bible; understanding these issues will keep us stable in these very troubling times.
Lord, open our eyes to understand the big issues in our Bible, Amen!