Since Jesus has passed the Messiah test, it is time for him to start preaching. In Matthew 4:12-17, the first thing we are told is that John has been put in prison.
When Jesus hears the news of John, He returns to Galilee. Jesus leaves Nazareth and goes to live in Capernaum, by a lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. Matthew informs us Jesus did this to fulfill what the prophet Isaiah said…
“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan. Galilee of the Gentiles-the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
The next thing Matthew informs us is that Jesus begins to preach “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
My study bible informs me that to repent means not just saying I am a sinner, please forgive me. It is the deliberate turning away from the sin/sins and turning toward God with our actions and words.
Seems so easy to say the words and yet hard to put it into the motion of our everyday lives.
If Jesus looked you straight in the face and said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near,” what would you do? I know I would fall to my knees and lay straight out crying.
And if I could speak, I would ask for forgiveness!
But what about the next day, when Jesus is not standing right in front of us?
We would probably be pretty good for a few days, weeks, or even a couple of months. But then this world with all of its distractions would woo us away. I surmise that is why we are told to read our bibles daily, go to church with a group of other Christians, and pray.
God gives us fountains of strength to combat the Medusas of the world! We have to use them.
So remember Jesus’ words, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!”
God Bless You!
God Bless America!