“I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession” (I Timothy 6:13).
The main accusations brought against Christ centered on His claim to the kingdom. All four gospels record Pilate’s question to Jesus: “Art thou the King of the Jews?” Matthew, Mark, and Luke record Jesus’ silence in the face of His accusers, but only John records the two very important statements made directly to Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world;” “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:36,37).
Jesus had already said much about His kingdom, but He had also said one had to be converted to understand the parables of the kingdom (Mark 4:11,12). We may get the impression that Jesus did not take His big opportunity to speak to Pilate and His accusers, but, in reality, His initial silence bore witness to the truth of what He had already taught about His kingdom and the fact that those who accused Him had not, and would not be converted.
Jesus taught that His kingdom is a kingdom where repentant “harlots and publicans” enter before self-righteous “chief priests and elders” (Matthew 21:23–32). He taught that “a rich man shall hardly enter” (Matthew 19:23), and “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” (Luke 18:17).
Jesus’ many parables of the kingdom included the teaching that it would be a kingdom of those who suffer persecution (Matthew 5:10). He further stated that we shouldn’t lose heart if His kingdom doesn’t “immediately appear,” but take a lesson from His parable of the nobleman who called his servants to him and said, “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:11–13). CJH