Midday Bible Study: Gospel 65

We shift now for a while from the word “gospel/gospeling” to “heralding/herald” (Greek word is kerusso/kerygma/kerux). We back up to the Gospels again, and we begin with John (Matt 3:1-2) and Jesus (4::

1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Very clearly, the gospel both John and Jesus preached is a gospel/preaching that involved these things:


1. The demand for Israelites (and anyone who listened) to repent, or turn from their ways, back to the God of the covenant as he makes his will known through John and Jesus.

2. The demand to repent derived from the sudden inbreaking and presence of the kingdom of God, and this must be understood as the long-awaited promises to David (and the prophets) that God would restore Israel, fulfill his promises, and create in the Land of Israel the People of God.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • BeckyR

    We just had a word study on repenting as a teaching in our small church. The emphasis the guy teaching said, in repenting, is turning to God, be in communion with him. Opposed to what I always thought it was and that is, clean up my life, stop doing what’s wrong. In John the Baptist’s voice of repentance you see him pinpointing things people are doing and to stop doing them. AndI saw Jesus’ call of repentance to be this come to God. But I guess stop doing wrong and start doing right follows from turning to God and being in communion with him.

  • RalphT

    I would have to observe that repenting involves both turning from and turning toward. It is a change of direction or orientation. In repentance one turns from a self-centered existence toward a life that seeks God and his will.


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