A Kingdom On Trial

John 18:33-38




1.                  “Are you the King....My kingdom is...”  It’s not a man but a kingdom which is on trial here in Pilate’s headquarters.


2.                  The kingdom was on Jesus’ mind throughout the closing scenes of his earthly ministry.


3.                  But what kind of kingdom was it to be?  In the event our text records, there are some indications of the nature of the kingdom which was to be made known in the rest of the New Testament.





1.                  A Necessary Kingdom


a.                   If Jesus is a king, there must, by definition, be a kingdom over which he exercises dominion.


b.                  But neither can we be in his kingdom without actually being subject to his reign in our lives.

i.                    Colossians 1:13-14

ii.                  Luke 6:46


2.                  A Spiritual Kingdom


a.                   Jesus said this in two ways in our text.

i.                    “My kingdom is not of this world.”

ii.                  “But my kingdom is not from the world.”


b.                  This means more than just that it is not a material kingdom.

i.                    Luke 17:21

ii.                  Romans 14:17

iii.                Revelation 1:5-6


3.                  An Eternal Kingdom


a.                   Like Jesus, it does not need to be physically defended because physical opposition cannot overcome it.


b.                  Peter spoke of “the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:11).

i.                    Revelation 1:9

ii.                  1 Corinthians 15:24-26

iii.                2 Timothy 4:18


4.                  An Authentic Kingdom


a.                   Jesus rules his kingdom by means of the truth (v. 37).


b.                  The closer he got to the cross, the more urgent this point seems to have become.

i.                    John 16:13

ii.                  John 17:8, 17


5.                  A Personal Kingdom


a.                   Pilate’s question about Jesus’ kingship was met with a question: “Do you say this of your own accord...?” (v. 34)


b.                  The kingdom is something far more than a mere theory to be discussed impersonally.

i.                    It is a mighty reality which confronts each one with a very personal choice.

ii.                  “Where livest thou?  In pleasures of the world?

                                    Or in that realm where Satan’s darts are hurled?

                                    Choose now to follow with the sons of God;

                                    Far better this than where the great have trod.”

iii.                We might say that the matter before Pilate there in his headquarters still has to be decided by each of us.





1.                  Acts 8:12


2.                  It’s still good news!  You and I can still welcome it the same way!  We can still give ourselves to the task of making sure others hear it.