As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
Introduction—What would it look like if a person lived with a Kingdom purpose? What would it look like if a church lived with a Kingdom Purpose? Imagine your life lived out with a Kingdom agenda. Sometimes we are so consumed with our own agenda, we forget that we are supposed to be living our lives for Jesus. We ought to serve Him and come to church to offer our worship up to Him. Our corporate worship is for Him. Worship Him today with Kingdom purpose. It is about Him. I have good news for you today; Jesus has your Kingdom purpose available to you.
Rick Warren, purpose driven life quote—The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.
28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”
30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”
31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”
“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.
Explanation—John’s account of Jesus trial before Pilot is the longest of the four Gospels, which are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. John places emphasis on Jesus’ concern with Pilate and Pilate’s shifting attitude. Jesus wants everyone to come to a saving faith because He knew what His Kingdom purpose was.
2 Peter 3:9—The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
John’s testimony of this conversation between Jesus and Pilate is very similar to the story we read in John 4 when Jesus encounters the woman at the well. After the back and forth conversation, Jesus ends the conversation in John 4:21-24—21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
John brings out details of these intimate conversations that Jesus had with people about His Kingdom purpose. That is why John’s gospel is known for the Kingdom principles that are explained throughout the book.
In order to have A Kingdom Purpose, we need to have:
- When you understand that you are part of a bigger picture or plan, you begin to realize the impact you can have for the Kingdom of God.
- Verse 28-31—The Jewish law prohibited sentencing someone to the death penalty. They needed the Roman leaders to be the ones to make the judgment of execution against Jesus. So they take Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect, who just happened to be in Jerusalem for Passover.
- The group goes to Pilate but they don’t enter the Roman courtroom since this would make them unclean for 7 days. If they were unclean they couldn’t participate in the festival of Passover.
- Pilate is ready to dismiss the case because he asks them what are the charges? The Jewish leaders wanted the Roman leaders to make the charge so that an execution could take place. Pilate no doubt knew that Jesus wasn’t guilty of any Roman law.
- Pilate wasn’t falling for the elusive question that the Jews gave him. They said, “If he wasn’t a criminal we wouldn’t have handed him over to you,” in verse 30
- The Jews couldn’t execute Him, the Romans had no basis to execute Him, so how is possible for Jesus to be put to death over charges that can’t be proven?
- Jesus knew what His Kingdom purpose was. He knew He would die for you and for me not because some court of law brought up charges, or for a crime He didn’t commit, but for the love He has us. Jesus chose to die of His own free will.
Illustration—In order to understand your part of the Kingdom process, you must know what you are supposed to do:
“Success is not what you have done compared to what others have done. Success is what you have done compared to what you were supposed to do.” ― Tony Evans, Kingdom Man
In other words, you can be successful in the world’s eyes, yet unsuccessful in God’s eyes. What you are supposed to do is when you and God meet together and He tells you what your Kingdom purpose is. That is how you receive your understanding of your Kingdom purpose.
Application—Do you understand what your Kingdom purpose is? If not, today would be a great time to begin this process. Don’t just live your life with purpose. Live you life with Kingdom Purpose!
In order to have A Kingdom Purpose, we need to have:
- Knowing what your kingdom purpose is will ensure that you fulfill the call God has on your life.
- The way you gain knowledge is through a study of the Scriptures. Yes, we have homework to do. We have our textbook for life. If you don’t know how to read and study God’s Word, then ask for help.
- Every week, we offer small group Bible studies to help you engage in the knowledge you need to succeed in your Kingdom calling. 3 times a week, there is Biblical teaching available to you. Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and then during this hour at 11 am, and Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. This Wednesday, a new 5-week study is beginning entitled “Sharing Life.”
- Knowledge is offered to you, but you are to have a daily time where you sit at the feet of Jesus and pray, listen, read, and study His love letter to you.
- In our text today, Jesus is asked by Pilate in verse 33, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Pilate was taken back by the demeanor of Jesus and how confident He was. Jesus didn’t look like the person that was being charged with a criminal offense.
- But Jesus has all wisdom and knowledge an He asks Pilate a question in verse 34, “Did you come up with that all on your own?” or “Did someone give you that answer?”
- Pilate’s back and forth conversation with Jesus is now beginning to irritate Pilate. In verse 35, Pilate asks, “Am I a Jew?” “Your people handed you over to me, what is it you have done?”
- Jesus understood fully His Kingdom purpose, when He said in verse 36—“My Kingdom is not of this world.”Jesus had no military support or any geographical locality. Jesus has a Kingdom that is eternal and it will never fade or pass away. His knowledge comes from His Father. That is where we need to gather our knowledge—from the Father.
Application—Do you have the knowledge you need to know what your Kingdom purpose is?
In order to have A Kingdom Purpose, we need to have:
- Jesus lets Pilate know in verse 37, the reason He was born was to be a testimony to the Truth! Jesus wanted Pilate to listen to Him so that even Pilate could know the truth.
- If we would listen to Jesus, we can know the truth.
- Jesus said in John 8:14—Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going.
- Wouldn’t you like to know where you going?
- Having the truth about your Kingdom purpose will allow you to know your destiny.
- Here is the truth—Jesus came into this world so you could understand, so you could know, and so you could have the truth about your designed Kingdom purpose.
- Pilate knew the truth. He found Jesus innocent of any charges, but caved to the pressure of the Jewish leaders that had made up their mind to execute Jesus.
- Jesus was paraded in front of His own people to be released or exchanged for the prisoner Barabbas. Pilate must have assumed that the popularity of Jesus among His own people would be enough to free Jesus. He didn’t know the truth.
- Jesus knew the truth of His Kingdom purpose. He was sent here to be a sacrificial offering for the sins of the world.
Illustration—Proverbs 3:5-6—Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
When you have real knowledge of God and His kingdom purpose for your life, this verse allows you to come to a real sense that God is the one who is in control.
Application—Do you know the truth of your Kingdom purpose?
Conclusion—Out Kingdom purpose has had the groundwork all laid out for us. Jesus understood it and He had knowledge of the truth. If we are to be a light for others to follow, we too must follow our Kingdom purpose. Living the rest of your life for the glory of God will require a change in your priorities, your schedule, you relationships, and everything else. It will sometimes mean choosing a difficult path instead of any easy one.
Even Jesus struggled with this. Knowing he was about to be crucified, he cried out: John 12:27 “My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.”
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,