The beginning of Jesus’ mission was subtle and heard by few.
It started with His baptism. Here He gave us a message to say let’s begin, I am here to fulfill. “Allow it to be so now: for thus is becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.”
After this He goes out to the desert and spends forty days fasting and praying. Drawing close to God to gain strength for His up and coming trials.
Then the devil tempts Him and although He is speaking to the devil, His message is for us. “It is written, Man shall not love by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” and the third message, again spoke to the devil but delivered for us. “You shall not tempt: the Lord your God.” The fourth and final time He uses this method of sending us messages. “Get you from here, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.”
After this the Bible says angels administered to Him and then he began to speak to the people of His time. “Repent for kingdom of heaven is at hand (near).” Matthew 4:17
He is letting the Jewish people know the long awaited prophecy is beginning.
He is letting the gentiles know that it only takes repentance, notice he doesn’t say convert, he says repent.
Perhaps He is giving another message as well. Perhaps He was telling them, I am here, the kingdom of heaven is near (literally) because I am here (literally). Yet so many missed the message.
I am quick to answer the question, “If you were given one hour to talk to someone in history, who would it be?” Jesus is always my answer. Could you even imagine the insight, the wisdom and the humbleness you would gain at such an interaction?
He was there, among them and so many turned their backs on Him, many merely because who he kept company with.
This seems to be a consistent human folly.
I know there are those who want to use these words against Jesus in arguing that this was over two thousand years ago. If the kingdom of heaven was at hand, then why has nothing more happened in the last two thousand years?
First let me tell you that ALOT has happened since then. Please review the history of the world.
Second, let me tell you something that doesn’t seem to be common knowledge.
In God’s eyes, it’s only been a little over two days since Jesus died.
Yes, God’s sense of time and our sense of time are worlds apart.
“For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:4,
We are reminded in 2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
(This also goes to show that it was seven thousand years between the time that God said let there be light and the “day” He rested, but that’s another subject entirely.)
So my fellow humans, Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is still very much at hand.