Here in Matthew 4, John the Baptist was now imprisoned and we see Jesus pick up his message and continue to proclaim it, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” calling men to turn away from their sin and turn to God, for the kingdom of heaven is near.
Some would say it’s a harsh message to preach, to go out and tell people that they are sinners walking in darkness, and that their only hope of escaping judgment and going to heaven is to repent and turn to Jesus. But it is not just the truth, it’s the truth that saves! It’s the truth that brought us out of darkness into the light, it’s the message that saved us, that led us to repentance.
Now it surely can seem harsh to some who hear it, but that harshness shouldn’t come from us and the way we share it, but when the truth is spoken in love with compassion, it can change hearts.
That’s how Jesus shared it, with great love and compassion. We would do well to go out and do the same.
Pastor Doug Hardin