Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fresh Studies in Matthew, Matthew 4:11 and following

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  This is one of the mysterious, hard-to-figure out concepts in the New Testament. 
  1. This phrase was the same as John the Baptist’s (3:2)
  2. “Kingdom of God” is used elsewhere in Jesus’ teaching but Matthew uses “Kingdom of heaven.”
  3. It has “drawn near” but how near?
  4. What is the kingdom of heaven?  The king has drawn near in this context, so is that it?  This simply does not fit our neat theologies. 
  5. Two things: 
    1. This is the announcement of extreme importance and it calls for repentance.  Why?  Because we are not worthy to enter it without a change of mind and being.  We give such a prominent part of the gospels so little attention.  Ultimately something new has arrived, something requiring a turning of wants to fit into it.
    2.  Repentance is not a work, but resting from works and work to please God, and from works of unrighteousness

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