“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” – Mark 1:15
What is the Gospel that Jesus is referring to in this portion of his ministry? Surely he is not going about Galilee proclaiming he has died and risen from the tomb. He hasn’t even told this to the first four disciples yet as he has just called them to be fishers of men. So, was Jesus foretelling what would happen to him to masses of people even before he would tell his closest followers who wouldn’t understand him?
I revert back to the previous 14 verses of this chapter. The word of prophecy has been fulfilled. The voice that cried out in the wilderness, John the Baptist, has fulfilled his purpose. Jesus was baptized by this man of great faith and simple life. Baptism was for repentance and forgiveness of sin though he had no sin. Jesus was confirmed as the coming Lord by the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Lord had withstood testing and tempting by Satan and came through the desert without sin. John’s imprisonment now opens the door for the ministry that he said would be greater than his. Therefore, the Good News is that one can receive spiritual renewal and victory over evil by believing that Jesus is the prophesied Lord from Heaven because he has become one with us and triumphed over Satan. Repent and believe.
John’s baptism flew in the face of the Pharisees call for strict, legal obedience as it didn’t follow the Mosaic ritual. It was an antithesis to the earthy rule of Herod and Rome as he spoke of something greater. Jesus declared not the restoration of David’s Israel nor the majesty of Cesar. “The Kingdom of God is close at hand.” Entrance into this divine realm only two things are required. Repent and believe.
May you see beyond burdensome legalism and supremacist arrogance. Good News is simple and available to all. Repent and believe.
Yours In Christ,
Brother Cyprian Bluemood
Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene