(Mark 1:14-15 ESV)
Jesus has been tempted and passed with flying colours.
John has been arrested.
This grabbed my attention for some reason that statement. That John had been arrested. You know how you know things in the bible, but sometimes you just forget that you know them? I had one of those moments this morning. Thinking, John? Why was he arrested? He was arrested!?!?!?!
So I looked it up.
John was arrested because he opened his mouth against Herod, the ruler of the area. Telling him that he should not have Herodias. As it says in Matthew 14: "For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” " Herod wanted to kill him but was scared to do so since John was a prophet.
Good reason to fear that as God has made it clear throughout scripture that mocking or going off his chosen spokespeople is a VERY bad idea (i.e. Elisha and the boys that mocked him).
Anyways, here is John in prison. By the command of Herod.
And Jesus comes and says:“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” He spoke these words in Galilee as he went there publicly announcing the gospel of God.
So why are these two events connected?
I looked up various commentaries and discovered that Jesus waited to start his ministry until he had been baptized by John and gone through his period of temptation. He was now ready to begin telling others the Gospel of God.
John the Baptist ministry was short, but he called EVERYONE to repent, from Herod down to the people in the countryside. For that he was imprisoned. People don't like to be called out for their sin. Herod was no exception.
But here John is, imprisoned.
And his cousin Jesus starts his ministry.
Going into Galilee and calling people to repentance as he preached the good news of God.
Jesus went there. And there he brought his first message to the people of Israel. Calling them to repentance. Telling them that the Kingdom of God was at hand. The Time was Fulfilled. This was the official start of Jesus' ministry.
We need to listen to his call. The Kingdom is at hand. We must repent.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”