New Kingdom Invasion

Week 5 Day 2

Matthew 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believe in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
After going into the wilderness and being tempted by Satan (Mark 4:1), Jesus officially begins His ministry by preaching and proclaiming the same message that John the Baptist had, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The Greek word for “repent” is metanoao.  The first part “meta” means movement or change, and the second part “noao” refers to the mind and its thoughts, perceptions, and dispositions. The call Jesus is making for people to repent is a call to a fundamental, inward change of mind. The reason for this call is that there is a new order at hand – the kingdom of heaven – and it’s values were very different from any earthly kingdom. This is emphasized in Jesus reply to Pilate in John 18:36 when He says “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”  

In our second Scripture from John 11, Jesus now moves from just declaring the new kingdom to demonstrating it through powerful action. He arrives after His friend Lazarus’ death, and comforts and mourns with Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. In a moment that seems hopeless according to the thinking of this world, Jesus tells Martha that her brother will rise again. She responds in faith but without a full understanding of the power of Jesus in God’s kingdom. Jesus makes the powerful and perspective-altering declaration that He is the resurrection and the life and that all who believe in Him will have eternal life.  Moments later, He proves that power by miraculously raising Lazarus from death to life.  

Speaking on this passage, John Piper says “This is the glory of Jesus. Jesus raised Lazarus because He is the resurrection. He is the arrival in history of God’s final, glorious renovation of all things, including our bodies. Believers, you will be raised from the dead and shine like the sun in the kingdom of your Father. Lazarus is a preview of your resurrection. Jesus is coming back to this earth in power and great glory.”  

What a glorious hope we have in Jesus, the resurrection and the life!

Reflection and Prayer

How does the fundamental call for an inward change of mind in repentance apply to you today? Are you tempted to view Jesus through the perceptions and the dispositions of earthly kingdoms?

After Jesus’ statement of being the resurrection and the life, He asks Martha “do you believe this?” How would you answer this question from Jesus?

Heavenly Father, I want to respond to Jesus’ call to repentance with complete obedience and trust.  Help me to view all things in light of the reality and the beauty of Your kingdom that was brought to earth in Jesus.  I know that He alone is the resurrection and the life, and I place all my faith and hope in Him.

Faith Bible Staff