After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Bad Timing for Good News
Timing is everything. Someone looking to start a new business needs to recognize the factors that might interfere with the success of their business. A lemonade stand or ice cream shop isn’t likely to take off in the middle of a Midwestern winter.
What about expanding a preaching and teaching ministry when the previous guy was just put in prison for preaching and teaching? That’s basically what Jesus did.
His predecessor, John, was in jail. John’s message had been clear and consistent: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” But many weren’t willing to admit their sins or their need for God’s forgiveness. And they didn’t like John pointing out how they had disobeyed God. This was especially true of the local king named Herod. So the king had John arrested.
This would probably be a time for anyone thinking of preaching a similar message to lay low. Give it time. Maybe people would be more receptive to listening in the future.
But instead, “Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’”
By all worldly measures, it was not a good time. But Jesus doesn’t measure by worldly measures. Jesus saw people who needed to hear the good news that God had kept his promises to mankind. God had sent someone to free them from the punishment that their sins deserved. God had sent someone to release them from the burden of trying to earn God’s favor by their own actions. That someone was Jesus himself.
The news was too good to wait! Jesus came to save sinners. He knew that the sinners he came to save would resist and oppose him, but he wouldn’t give up. He wouldn’t turn back or keep quiet. He loved sinners too much.
He still does. He still calls out to you and me today too, “Repent and believe the good news!”
Jesus, lead me to repent of my sins and trust the good news that in you, my sins are forgiven. Amen.
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