“From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’” vs. 17
Soon after Jesus’ time in the wilderness, John the Baptist was arrested and imprisoned in Herod’s fortress at Machaerus, just east of the Dead Sea. When Jesus got word of John’s arrest he went north, back to Galilee where he’d come from, and he began his ministry. Initially, his message was identical to that of John, except that he didn’t baptize anyone. “Repent,” he said, “for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” He too was inviting people to examine their lives, and actually begin living in a new way. He let them know that something new was happening, that God had come near, and that they could expect to see and experience signs of God’s presence. But Jesus didn’t just point out people’s sins, he reached out to them in their brokenness and offered a vision of the peaceable kingdom. It’s the same promise he makes to us. He doesn’t offer a new creed or theological perspective, he simply tells us that there’s a better way to live, and invites us to try a life not based on accumulation or prestige, but on healing, forgiveness, and restoration. He calls us to stand with the suffering and the hurting and to give each day over to letting our lights shine before others. He made loving the center of his life and asks us to spend our days in the same way. It’s not a complicated life, but it is the best one!
Thought for the Day: What shape has repentance taken in my life?