Because we have accepted Jesus as our way to God, we were called, by name, out of this earthly world and into His Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is not of this world, but separate. Our time here is temporary, and we are the manifestation of His Kingdom on Earth.
John 18:36: Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”
Being God in human flesh, Jesus had the power and opportunity to escape the reality of being condemned to the cross. If His disciples had not understood His divinity and the fact He was fulfilling God’s plan for restoring our relationship, they may have fought to save Him, but they had some understanding that this was an important step in bringing the Kingdom into the world. The Jewish leaders and other authorities in the world hated Jesus, because He threatened their power and beliefs. In the same way, the world will not appreciate you taking a stand against it and the values and desires it holds.
John 15:18-19: If the world hates you, remember that it hated me [Jesus] first. The world would love you as one of it’s own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer a part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
Jesus has felt the world against Him. The Holy Spirit knows our hearts, and the struggles we go through. It can be scary, and we can feel alone. Jesus knew even while He was still on Earth that we would need courage and protection. John 17 shows us that after reassuring His followers that He had overcome the world, Jesus spent time in prayer, asking the Father to help them as they took the form of the Kingdom on Earth. We can have confidence knowing that Jesus will support us, and give us encouragement in the fight to remain apart from the world and in right relationship with Him.
John 17:9, 15-21: “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.… I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
What did Jesus call you out of, when He brought you into His Kingdom?
Who has He called you to be as part of His Kingdom?
When you feel alone against the world, how do you find your courage?
Who has encouraged you in being a part of the Kingdom, and not the world? Who can you encourage?