Matthew 4:17 – From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus has just resisted the temptations of Satan in the wilderness and thereby we are able to see the sinless nature of Jesus. Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah by being a shining light among darkness in Galilee. The first words Jesus begins to preach in His earthly ministry is repentance. The time has come to repent and believe in the gospel.
Jesus first words in His earthly ministry are not catchy, nor does he say follow me and it will be all good. Jesus opens with repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Step 1 is I have to recognize my sinful nature and how that separates me from our holy God. I then have to repent and turn from my sin towards a loving God through the sacrifice His perfect son, Jesus, made for me. Jesus first words of His ministry to His neighbors in Galilee is the same truth for our neighbors in Manatee County, the United States and to the ends of the earth.
Thank you for your love, undeserving, grace and mercy in sending a perfect, sinless Jesus to pay for my sin so I can, repent, be reconciled and have a relationship with you. Help me to live out your truth in a way that points others to you.