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Mark 1: 14

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

This comes from the very early days of Jesus’ ministry. This is one of those cases where reading the footnotes is as enlightening as the verse. The notes reveal that what Jesus was communicating to the people there was that the Kingdom of God had come near them. It is at hand, or maybe better said, it is here. Jesus told them that the time they had look forward to was fulfilled and the kingdom was no longer a promise but rather, a reality. Well, if it had come to pass 2000 years ago then we certainly are not waiting for it today.

There is another interesting footnote. Jesus said to repent and believe in the gospel. The fullness of what he was saying about belief is in the word “trust”. Jesus told them to trust in the gospel. What does that mean? How does he intend that we “trust” in the gospel? Is this something our heart does? Or, does it perhaps involve our actions as well? Either way, I think Jesus is telling us, even as he spoke to those saints 2000 years ago, there is something we are supposed to do now that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Jesus told people several times that the Kingdom of God had come near them. It was right within their grasp. The same is true for us. Everything Jesus is has come within our reach. There is an action involved, however, and that is the part which so often trips us up. We must reach out and grasp all that Jesus won for us. I wish it would just rain down on me and I wouldn’t have to lift a finger. I don’t want to do the emotional and spiritual work necessary to receive his Kingdom victories but I guess that is just laziness. It is like someone has stocked the refrigerator. I want a drink. I want the benefit that drink will give me but I don’t want to get out of my chair and go get it.

Some of us just didn’t realize Jesus has stocked the refrigerator for us. We are dying of thirst when there is every kind of drink waiting for us. We have to learn to trust this gospel and expect the refrigerator to be loaded. We should begin to expect that the coming of the Kingdom brought with it life-altering properties. Certainly, this would be a great subject for our walks with Jesus. You can ask him to tell you exactly what he meant by, “repent and trust in this gospel.” I don’t want any of us to miss out on the Kingdom or its resources. The time is fulfilled. The Kingdom of God is here. Repent and trust in the gospel.

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