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. (John 18:33–37, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “If it were, my servants would fight.” I have to admit, that I sometimes (yesterday, for example) get “fighting mad” about what is going down in our country. Then I must remind myself, that as much as I love this country, “my kingdom is [also] from another place.” We must hold on loosely to the things of this world, and not get too attached to what must inevitably pass away as other worldly kingdoms have.
When things do not go as we would like, we must continue to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21. ESV 2016). This means that unless the things of “Caesar” go against God’s moral code or freedom of worship, “everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” (Romans 13:1, NIV 1984). But where the authorities go against God’s moral code or the “free exercise” of worship, “we must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29, NIV 1984).
But even in these circumstances we must remember that “though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. (2 Corinthians 10:3–4, NIV 1984). For in reality, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV 1984). And it is abundantly clear that many of our worldly leaders are being heavily influenced by “spiritual forces of evil.“
My Advice – So how do we respond? We must not resort to hate or violence. These are “weapons of the world.” Rather, we must “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, [we] may be able to stand [our] ground, and after [we] have done everything, to stand. [We] stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around [our] waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with [our] feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, [we] take up the shield of faith, with which [we] can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. [We] take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And [we] pray.” (Ephesians 6:13–18, NIV 1984).