The other-worldly kingdom

In John 18:36 when standing before the Roman governor, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

Let me note a few things.

First, his kingdom isn’t just about heaven. It includes heaven but is not limited to heaven. He teaches us to pray that God’s kingdom comes and his will is done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). There is a breaking-into-this-world quality about his kingdom.

Second, the kingdom is Jesus’ kingdom. He says it is “my” kingdom. He defines it.

Third, it is “not of this world.” The means it is not defined by the values of a flawed and broken existence. That’s why his servants don’t need to use weapons or fists.

In contrast, the kingdom of God is counter-cultural. J.I. Packer says that the kingdom’s charter is the Sermon on the Mount—what he calls “the royal family code.”*

This week I encourage you to review our kingdom’s charter in Matthew 5 to 7. Jesus teaches us about those who are truly blessed, about being salt and light, about anger (and not be ruled by it), about purity and marriage, about loving your enemies, about giving to the needy, about prayer and fasting, about money and possessions, about worry, about judgment and humility, about doing to others as you would have them do to you, about taking the narrow gate, about being true disciples, and about the meaning of wisdom. 

Living like royalty is about living differently. If it wasn’t, Jesus wouldn’t have said his kingdom is other-worldly.

Review the kingdom charter. If we forget who we are called to be as the King’s royal subjects, we risk blending in and missing our high and noble calling.

We’re far from perfect. But with God’s help “we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Be deliberate, not distracted. Review the kingdom charter in Matthew 5-7.


–“Live like royalty.” Sermon. March 5, 2023. Click here.

–J.I. Packer, Knowing God (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1973), 235.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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