THE WORD: A kingdom not of this world

“Princess Elizabeth of York” by Philip de Laszlo (1933) is a painting of Princess Elizabeth of York — the future Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom — when she was seven years old. (Public Domain) 

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father. – John 14:1-9a 


Many across the world heard this scripture read Monday morning by new British Prime Minister Elizabeth Truss at the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Fourteen passages from the Bible were read during the state funeral at Westminster Abbey along with hymns referencing scripture.  

Through these verses, Christ endeavored to comfort the hearts of his disciples in prospect of his departure from earth. He tells them the great design of his departure to the cross to suffer and die, and of his ascension to Heaven to reign — is to prepare a place for them in his Father’s celestial house, intimating also that at a future time he would remove them from earthly sorrows, and receive them in a glorified state, to himself, never to part again.  

What Christ said to his disciples, he says to his people now. The disciples were ignorant of the great design of Christ’s coming. They dreamed of a temporal kingdom in external pomp and power, and doated upon this notion — though Jesus had frequently told them to the contrary. “My kingdom is not of this world.” Hence the inquiry of Thomas and the answer of his Master; “I am the Way.” 

A Way obviously implies a place to which it leads. In the preceding verses, Christ says he was going to Heaven. Heaven is the dwelling-place of God. To that glorious residence, and to God, Jesus Christ is the Way.  

With reports of over 4 billion people tuning in to the queen’s funeral, her final sendoff could have opened the door for many others to follow the way of Jesus through exposure to the holy scriptures.   

William Nicholson contributed portions of the article. His works are now in the public domain.