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Sunday, October 22: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near

 

Sunday in the GospelsOn Sundays we'll walk through events in the life of Jesus Christ found in the four Gospels.

Read Matthew 4:12-17

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

"Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,

the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,

Galilee of the Gentiles—

the people living in darkness

have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death

a light has dawned."

From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

Reflect

Up to this point, Jesus had mainly stayed in the background, teaching a small number of people but not yet reaching the crowds that he would later. But with John—Jesus' cousin who prophesied Jesus' coming and who Jesus asked to be baptized by—now in prison and out of the preaching business, Jesus seemingly takes up his mantle and his message of repentance.

Respond

The repentance that John and now Jesus are preaching isn't simply a matter of a begrudging "I'm sorry" and going on your way. Instead, it's a turning, away from your old ways and toward God, a literal, even radical, changing of your mind. If you're not aware of one already, ask God to show you one area in your life where you're in need of repentance. Then ask him to show you the way there and where your mind needs to be changed.

 

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