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Sermon Notes + 3.10.2024

My Kingdom Is Not of This World
John 18:28-40
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead PastorOverview: Having been arrested and interrogated by Jewish officials, Jesus is brought before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. John notes with irony how the Jewish officials are careful not to defile themselves ceremonially by entering Pilate’s headquarters, thus requiring Pilate himself to step outside and ask for specific accusations they are bringing against Jesus. The officials respond vaguely, but their intentions are clear—they want Jesus put to death. Pilate’s interview with Jesus reveals that Jesus is the King of the Jews, a title that Pilate has little interest in pursuing, much less prosecuting. He offers instead to release a prisoner in honor of Passover, whereupon the crowd chooses Barabbas, the robber, over Jesus the Savior. Despite the fact that Jesus is rejected by the Jews and brushed aside by Pilate, He is still King of a Kingdom that transcends this world and yet impacts this world.01. Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world but He is King nonetheless. In order to enter His kingdom, we must come under His terms and live according to His conditions.

02. Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, but His kingdom impacts this world. In order to advance the kingdom, we must do so differently than the ways of the world.


1. What prevented the Jewish leaders from entering Pilate’s headquarters (verse 28)? In what way does their concern seem particularly ironic, given the fact that they are handing Jesus over to be crucified? Which matters most to God—external participation in religious ceremonies or internal transformation by faith in Christ?

2. How would you characterize Pilate’s interest in prosecuting Jesus? Was he eager, or does he seem indifferent? Given the fact that Pilate had little esteem for the Jews and their laws, why does he press forward with the case? In what way do we fail to consider important matters just to move on to other things? Pray for wisdom to consider carefully things that matter the most.

3. What does Jesus mean when He says, “My kingdom is not of this world” (verse 36)? Does this mean that Christians should not be involved in political matters? How can Christians impact society with the gospel without relying exclusively or even primarily on politicians or political parties?

4. How would you respond to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” (verse 38)? If there is no standard for truth, can there be any standard of justice? If there is no standard of truth, is there any difference between the works of Jesus and the crimes of Barabbas? How is truth devalued in our culture today?

5. What is the significance of the crowd choosing Barabbas over Jesus? How does their decision manifest itself today as people choose evil over good and darkness over light? How does the death of Jesus in place of Barabbas illustrate the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement?

For Further Reading: Christopher Morgan and Roberts Peterson, eds. The Kingdom of God (Crossway, 2012)