Jesus answered: “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. (John 18:36)
“Offering the homage of her veneration, the Church, which is the kingdom of Christ on earth [in the world, not of this world] destined to extend to all parts and to embrace all men, salutes in the yearly cycle of the holy liturgy her Author and Founder as King, Lord and King of Kings.” (Pius XI, December 11th, 1925)
(See also: “The Church of Christ, the Kingdom of God on Earth, Has Been Hated and Persecuted Always”; please click here)
With His reply, Christ laid bare the vain thoughts of men. Reigning worldly rulers are apt to be jealous of those whom they consider likely to rule in their stead.
Jesus answered: “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my followers would have fought that I might not be delivered to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” This is what the good Master wished us to know. First we had to learn how vain was the notion of this kingdom which had been current among all men, both Jews and Gentiles, and which Pilate had heard from them. As if he deserved to be condemned to death because he had aspired to an unlawful kingdom; or because reigning monarchs are apt to be jealous of those who are likely to rule in their stead, or as if, for example, there was need to beware lest his kingdom should be hostile either to the Romans or the Jews.
When the Roman governor asked Jesus, “Are you king of the Jews,” the Lord could have answered: “My kingdom is not of this world.” But Christ asked in his turn, “Do you say this of yourself, or have others told you of me?” because he wished to show from Pilate’s answer that he, Jesus, had been charged with this as a crime before Pilate by the Jews. Thus he laid bare to us the thoughts of men which he knew and which were vain. After the reply of Pilate, Jesus replied to them, to both Jews and Gentiles, more fittingly and more opportunely, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
– St Augustine, Bishop, Treatise 115 on John 18-36, from: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964