Kingdom Near


A light dawns through Jesus and his presence. He is the great light to those living in darkness and in the land of the shadow of death. Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven near. If we embrace this light and the presence of Jesus, everything in life changes…

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 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.”

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Matthew 4:15-17

Jesus responded to the circumstances of the time. We read several times in the gospel stories that Jesus’ time had not yet come, and so he didn’t do certain things or go to certain places. His mission was so important that it guided his whole life. Think about that for a moment. What mission is guiding your whole life?

All the while, Jesus fulfills the words of the prophets, in this case those of Isaiah, in which he is the great light to those living in darkness and in the land of the shadow of death. A light dawns through Jesus and his presence.

This was true then and it is true now. When people who are living in darkness and the heavy cover of sin encounter Jesus and his life-giving light, everything changes. The purpose for living changes. The mission of life changes with Jesus at the centre.

John, who had been put in prison at this point under the direction of King Herod, had been preaching repentance. The kingdom of God, John said, was near. We see that in Jesus’ preaching, this truth comes further to the forefront and becomes: “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven near.

Are you near? As Jesus brings heaven to earth, do you shy away into the shadows and darkness? Do you shrink back from repentance or do you step into the light? Jesus’ call remains. His mission can be your mission.

Your life can be guided by the light of Christ. Step into the dawn.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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