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Midweek Sermon Lent 2
2nd Petition of the Lord’s Prayer
John 18:33-38 English Standard Version (ESV)
My Kingdom Is Not of This World
33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.
In the Name of Jesus Amen.
The Second Petition
Thy kingdom come.
What does this mean?
The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in
this petition that it may come to us also.
How does God’s kingdom come?
God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that
by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there
The kingdom of God is not a place. A farmer has a farm. A Rancher has a ranch. A King has a Kingdom. All are adequate descriptions but they really don’t tell you much about what they do.
We could be a little more precise and say, a farmer farms. A rancher ranches. A King Kingdoms? No a King reigns over those entrusted to his care.
When we pray “Thy Kingdom come” we are praying that God will reign over us. We are praying that He will be God in every area of my life, of your life and the lives of all people. We are praying that God will reign in our community, county and country. “Thy Kingdom come” is our prayer that God will reign over all of creation.
The challenges of this petition are that God does not reign over us like any earthy authority. Arrested and questioned by Pontius Pilate Jesus said this. “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Jesus does reign over us with power, but not earthly power. It is not unusual for a King or a ruler to use their power over people. Jesus power extends far beyond power over man and woman.
Jesus is in the boat with His disciples, most of them seasoned fisherman. The wind and the waves are so fierce and unrelenting they fear they will not survive the storm. They wake Jesus who is sleeping and with two words, “be still” the wind and waves submit to His power and it is calm.
Jesus and His disciples come to the country of the Gerasene’s. There is a man there who is demon possessed. No one can control Him. He breaks the shackles they put him into. He lives in the cemetery. His name is legion, hinting that there are between 4000 to 6000 demons in this man. This possessed man and the demon hordes that are in him, beg Jesus not to send them out of the country. With a word from Jesus the demons obey and leave the man.
Jesus reigns with power over nature and demon alike.
Jesus reigns over us with grace.
Remember, Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. The woman in John 8 was caught. She was stepping out on her husband. The law of Moses gave the scribes and Pharisees the right to kill her for her offence. As the crowd “tested” Jesus He said this. “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he started writing on the ground with His finger.
What Jesus wrote has always intrigued me. Did He write out the private sins of the Pharisees? If Jesus wrote your private sins on the ground in front of your friends what would you do? I know I would sneak away as quietly as I could.
When our sins confront us, either through our conscience or by the preaching of God’s Word our response is to run, hide, and blame. Even there in our justifying ourselves “Thy Kingdom comes”. God’s Kingdom, His reign over sin and death and hell comes to us in Jesus. It comes to us in Grace.
Perhaps Jesus wrote GRACE on the ground in front of the Pharisees? Remember grace is God through Jesus giving us what we don’t deserve. The Pharisees who only wanted punishment for the woman would not have been able to stand such power, reigning over her in love.
God’s Kingdom, His reign over you comes through His Grace. Instead of destroying you for your sins, God gives that death to Jesus who willingly takes it, so you are forgiven. That is God’s reign, His power, His Kingdom coming to you!
Jesus commands us to pray, Thy Kingdom come, and it does. The Kingdom of God’s Grace, Glory and Power breaks into our world to wrestle us out of the devils grasp and remove his claim to us through our sin. Thy Kingdom comes to us at Jesus Crucifixion death and resurrection.
The Kingdom of Power is shown in restraint. When Jesus was on the cross, He did not destroy those who sought to destroy Him. As Isaiah says “He was silent”. God’s Kingdom of Power in Jesus comes to destroy only enemies of Jesus and His Cross. Jesus, God’s Kingdom come to earth, destroyed death, destroyed sins condemnation of you.
The Kingdom of Grace is spoken to the thief on the cross. “Today you will be with me in paradise”! It is spoken to you and me as we get what we do not deserve. Jesus Grace poured out for all when He said “IT IS FINISHED” and gave up His Spirit.
The Kingdom of Glory breaks into our world when Jesus descended into hell and declared Victory in deaths defeated domain. Thy Kingdom come, breaks into our world on the third day. Jesus the first born of the dead! God’s Power, Grace and Glory, reigns over all of creation, wrapped up in Jesus for you.
The result of God reigning over us starts with His Holy Spirit given to us as a GIFT in Baptism. God gives us ears to hear and faith to believe. Jesus first sermon showed us clearly what it looks like to live under His reign. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”[a]
The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also. As we come closer to Good Friday and we see God’s Kingdom coming to us in Jesus, we cry out in Faith, Lord have mercy. Come Lord Jesus! Reign over us with your Power with your Grace and with Your Glory! Amen.
Read the passion.