In Mark, Jesus begins his ministry with these words: The time has come at last—the kingdom of God has arrived. You must change your hearts and minds and believe the good news. Phillips Then Mark had Jesus calling his Twelve. Notice also that Jesus’ first words came after the imprisonment of his cousin John.
Jesus made sure that John completed his mission before he began his own. Some people, then and now, point out that Jesus was somewhat callous regarding John’s fate. He is not on record as speaking to Herod on John’s behalf, or of speaking about John at all. For Jesus, John was finished, and he had his own work to do. We have no way of knowing the sorrow Jesus felt, but we do know the joy he felt about the Gospel.
The kingdom of God has arrived.
You may notice that many translations read like this: repent and believe in the gospel. ESV I chose to use Phillips translation because the Greek word metanoeo means to change your whole way of thinking.
The Kingdom. What is it? God’s Kingdom. Rule by God. It is the Kingdom that the whole history of Israel points toward. God intended for Israel to be a Theocracy, but it did not work out so well. Looking back, we can now see that God was preparing the way for His son to institute Theocracy.
Between Moses and King Saul, God’s Chosen Ones learned the basics of rule by God. But it was not until the Messiah walked on earth as a human that we could see how it was supposed to work.
The kingdom of God has come near. NIV Phillips had the kingdom arriving, but nearness is the better meaning of the message. The Kingdom of God has not taken over the earth, but it is sprinkled around. Like yeast, it is infecting the earth. Like salt, it is seasoning the earth.
We get a sense of what the complete Kingdom will be as we watch followers of the Messiah spread his love throughout a hate-filled world.
Come, follow me.
Read my earlier comments on this theme here.
Be righteous and do good.