.Matthew 4.17 cont.
17 From then on Jesus began to proclaim and to say: “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven has come near.”
Most of us do not like to be told that we need to change; we prefer to continue in our own ways of thinking and our own way of doing things. Having to change implies that we have got things wrong. This hits our pride, and pride often stands in the way of our personal progress.
However, repentance is a fundamental event that has to happen within us.
Repentance is one of the first things that Jesus told people that they needed to do.
This was the same message that John the Baptist had been preaching.
The Greek word for repentance means to change our mind.
It is often said that it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.
Jesus tells us that it is essential for everyone to change his or her mind, because the Kingdom of Heaven has come near.
In our natural state we are unable to receive the Kingdom of Heaven, because our natural mind is centred in the kingdoms of this world. Therefore, our minds are entombed in the darkness of the powers of evil.
The great news is that we do have the ability and the opportunity to change our minds. The call of Jesus for us all to repent comes to us in the power of His command. When Jesus said ‘repent’, it was a command, not a suggestion; it was not a wise piece of advice. Instead it was, and remains an order.
His commands are powerful, carrying with them the power for us to bring about the change of mind that is required for us to receive the Kingdom of Heaven. It may appear that the commands of Jesus are unattainable for us; that they are too difficult for us to carry out. This would be true if His commands came without the power for us to change.
The truth of the matter is that His power filled commands empower us to change our mind by bringing our minds into line with His mind.
Kate Wilkinson wrote these beautiful words:
May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.