Apr. 23, 2022
The first words Jesus speaks in Mark’s gospel are, “The time has come. The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark presents Jesus as the Kingdom of God that has come near. Jesus – the one who was Lord of the Kingdom prior to the incarnation, and the one who remains Lord of the Kingdom as the man Jesus who will be tortured and killed. The Lord of the Kingdom comes to people and says the Kingdom of God – life as God intends it to be – is me. The called for response is repentance: the choice to put the brakes on life that’s headed in directions away from Jesus and turn things around to a Jesus focused life – to leave the nets behind and follow him (vs. 18). And since life has the tendency to drift, repentance is not a one-time thing. Spurgeon said it this way: “Sincere repentance is continual. Believers repent until their dying day.” Discipleship is rooted in this recognition that Jesus IS the Kingdom of God, and that our primary response to that kingdom coming near is repentance.