15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
In this one verse, we read two declarations and two commands from Jesus which summarize His message. The first declaration, ‘The time has come’, emphasizes the distinctive note of fulfillment in Jesus’ proclamation (Luke 4:16–21). God’s appointed time of preparation and expectation, as seen throughout the Old Testament era, now stood fulfilled in agreement with God’s plan (Gal. 4:4; Heb. 1:2; 9:6–15).
The second declaration, ‘The kingdom of God is near’, presents a key feature of Jesus’ message. The word ‘Kingdom’ in Greek means “kingship” or “royal rule.” Involved in the term is the sovereign authority of a ruler, the activity of ruling, and the realm of rule including its benefits. Thus ‘the kingdom of God’ is an active concept that refers to God’s sovereign activity or ruling over His Creation.
This concept was familiar to the Jews of Jesus’ day. In light of Old Testament prophecy (2 Sam. 7:8–17; Isa. 11:1–9; 24:23; Jer. 23:4–6; Micah 4:6–7; Zech. 9:9–10; 14:9) they were expecting a future messianic (Davidic) kingdom to be established on earth ( Matt. 20:21; Mark 10:37; 11:10; 12:35–37; 15:43; Luke 1:31–33; 2:25, 38; Acts 1:6). Therefore, Jesus did not have to arouse an interest in His message alluding to this idea. His hearers naturally understood His reference to the kingdom of God to be the long-awaited messianic kingdom predicted in the Old Testament. And because of the fulfillment of the two declarations, the time of decision had come; thus, the required response to which Jesus summoned His hearers was a double command: Repent and believe the good news!
Thoughts for the day
- Is there anyone in your sphere of influence that you need to share this double command of Jesus namely to repent of their sins and to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah?
- 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.