v 36. Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom.
History is full of events when genuinely sincere Christians have tried to shape politics to reflect the power and values of the Kingdom of God. A few have even become religious despots, trying to govern some geographical area or tribal group by their understanding of what they saw as ‘God’s Will.’ Even during the Protestant Reformation in the 1500’s men like John Calvin hoped to establish godly rule in cities by various legal enactments and enforcing strict social discipline. (Just think how the Taliban are trying to do the same in Afghanistan, but using Islamic institutions.)
Jesus is clear however, His Kingly Rule differs radically from expectations of an earthly Kingdom. His rule is not applied externally by legal forces, but internally – in the hearts of individuals who respond to His love. It is love, coming to us by the Holy Spirit, that pulls at us and gives us both desire and power to remain faithful to His will. The Holy Spirit moulds and shapes my life to conform to the pattern of Jesus. God’s Kingly Rule is neither political nor coercive, it is heart-warming and will-shaping. That was something neither the Jewish Leaders nor Pilate could begin to grasp.