Jesus Opened the Doors of the Kingdom in a New Way
Topic: Advent Passage: Malachi 3:1–5
Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was assigned by God to be a forerunner of Jesus’ public ministry. He was the last of the prophets to speak in the Old Testament style. His ministry broke a 460-year silence in which there was no prophet in Israel. His ministry created a buzz around Judea and built a holy expectation. It marked a transition of ages (see Hebrews 9:26 and 1 Corinthians 10:11).
Jesus opened the doors of the Kingdom in a new way.
John the Baptist tells us why we need it and how to get it.
- We need Jesus’ ministry because without him we’re in the wilderness. The crowds back then and many today are in a situation of spiritual barrenness. John was a voice crying out to those “in the wilderness” to prepare the way of the Lord.
- Repentance is the way into the kingdom. The word “repent” literally means change of mind. It’s far more than confessing sins. It also includes a practical reformation of life. We are all being invited to choose to follow Jesus as our teacher or to follow worldly, selfish pursuits.
Jesus’ message was that the “kingdom of God is here - repent and believe the Good News” (Mark 1:14). Those who feel spiritual emptiness and see God’s mercy in Jesus, renounce their old life and turn to Jesus’ way (repentance). Many people who would be quick to call themselves “Christians” are reticent to be disciples. A disciple is an apprentice of Jesus’ way of living. Jesus shows us how to be a person of his kingdom.
Taking It Home: Read through the Gospels again studying the word “Kingdom,” noticing that it’s for here and now, not just after death. Ask Jesus to become your teacher. Learn his ways.
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