After John’s arrest, Jesus came into Galilee, announcing God’s gospel.
“The time is fulfilled! The kingdom of God is arriving! Repent, and believe the gospel!”
These two verses present four features which are also prominent in Isaiah 40-66:
1] The term gospel (good news)
2] The anticipation of a period of time
3] The kingdom of God
4] The need for repentance
1] Gospel, or “good news,” here designates Jesus’ message of the appearance of God’s kingdom, a message entailing liberty for those
held captive to any form of affliction and demonstrated most dramatically in acts of healing.
2] In Isaiah 61 the servant, in addition to “preaching the good news,” is to “proclaim the favorable year of the Lord” (note also Daniel 7:22).
3] The term “kingdom of God” signifies God’s sovereign, dynamic and eschatological rule. The Kingdom of God lay at the heart of Jesus’ teaching. As proclaimed by Jesus the kingdom of God had continuity with the Old Testament promise as well as with Jewish apocalyptic thinking, but differed from them in important respects. For example, it denoted God’s eternal rule rather than an earthly kingdom, its scope was universal rather than limited to the Jewish nation, and it was imminent and potentially present in him rather than a vague future hope, being inextricably connected with his own person and mission.
Jesus took it from a narrow-minded nationalistic hope to a universal, spiritual order in which humankind could find the fulfillment of its ultimate desires for righteousness, justice, peace, happiness, freedom from sin and guilt, and a restored relationship to God- an order in which God was king. Given the fact that the basic human problem of sin and alienation from God is as true today as it ever has been, the message of the kingdom of God ought to have as great a relevance today as it ever had.
4] Repentance in the Gospels refers to the radical “turning away” from anything which hinders one’s wholehearted trust in God. As such, the notion of “turning to” God in love and obedience is most often included.
Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint…
If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.