14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” These were the first words Jesus uttered when he began his 3-year ministry. Normally when people start a campaign or a business or something similar, they declare what they think is most important so that the audience will know what they deem significant. For Jesus, that was “the kingdom of God”.
Many people think that the kingdom of God is heaven where people go after they died. However, the kingdom of God as Jesus taught is clearly different. The kingdom of God he taught is everywhere and at every moment ruled by God, our king. Thus, this perfect rule could be in our present situation, but this rule is incomplete until Jesus comes back.
Theologian George Elden Ladd described the kingdom of God as “already” and “not yet”. “The kingdom of God began “already” on this world at the first coming of Jesus. Then, it is “not yet” completed until Christ’s second coming. We are the people of God’s kingdom living in between two times.” We live between that “already” and “not yet”. The imperfect time between them is full of sorrow and pain, wounds and tears. But this will surely come to an end one day, and the perfect reign of God will be achieved.
Repentance is one of the ways in which we live between the “already” and “not yet”. Repentance is to live in obedience to the will of God, who is our king, and through the act of repentance we get to have a personal relationship with Jesus, our King (Woowon- Korean Community Group leader).
Thoughts for the day
- Knowing what the kingdom of Gof d means, how do you see it at work in your daily life?
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Pray (silently) for the people who are seated close to you as you read this.