Welcome ECP family to our February, 2023 New or Refreshed Leisure Biblical Learning (Norlbl.) originated by Charles L. Robinson Jr. of Edifying Christian Publications.
Love on yourself by remaining mindful of the importance of changing any or all elements composing your life: your attitudes, your thoughts, and/or your behaviors concerning the demands of God for right living (metanoeo.) We will review "Jesus preaching the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the gospel" and its surrounding related issues that illustrates the loving act of change needed to exemplify love for God (through Christ Jesus),self, and others. Leisurely, meditate on the below primary scriptures, surrounding scriptures, and list of surrounding issues for your new biblical learning, refreshed biblical learning, and/or personal awareness regarding the loving act of change for God, self, and others when or if needed.
"Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel". Mark 1:14-15
Surrounding Issues & Surrounding Scriptures:
Jesus speaks boldly with no tolerance regarding the temple and money changers while in Judea on his way to Galillee. (John 2:13-17) Change needed: People discontinue making the temple a place of business; start reverencing God.
Jesus speaks about destruction of the temple while in Judea on his way to Galilee. (John 2:19-22) Change needed: Thought and attitude derived from divine revelation (spiritual mindset) that the temple Jesus was referring to was Jesus's body (his death and resurrection) and not the physical temple building.
Jesus does not commit to specific people in Judea on his way to Galilee. (John 2:23-24) Change needed: People needed to be doers and not only professors.
Jesus speaks to Nicodemus in Judea on his way to Galilee. (John 3:5-10) Change needed: Thought and attitude from divine revelation (spiritual mindset) regarding dependency on spiritual transformation and not dependency on lineage and outwards.
Jesus enters Galilee and preaches "the kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye, and believe in the gospel" (Mk 1:14-15) Change needed: Peoples mentality regarding the kingdom of God being God's sovereign rule in their hearts at the time and not only a established physical kingdom later. Acceptance and obedience to the gospel is a reflection of God's sovereign rule- the kingdom of God. In Mark 4:11-12, Jesus reiterates that some will not acknowledge the kingdom of God at hand at the time which reiterates the need for change.
Other surrounding issues in the days of Jesus's preaching ministry that illustrates his need to courageously preach for change - "the kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye, and believe in the gospel":
Some political issues - Politicians (Tiberius and the Senate) disunity amongst themselves with trickle down unfavorable effects; Politicians personal drama -debasement that fuels additional distrust (Augustus, Tiberius, and Julia - arranged family marriage); Political counterparts such as Sejanus (prefect of the praetorian guard) oppressive practices; Politicians (Antipas) treatment of contempt towards Jesus and his ministry; Politicians (with aristocrat viewpoints) believed the poor (less fortunate) should be in contempt because they simply are poor - less fortunate. They saw poverty as ugly and dishonorable. It was said "to certain people I should give not, even though there is need, because there still will be need if I give" (Dio Chrysostom Orations 7.125, quoted Mac Mullin); Additional political mentality from politicians with aristocratic viewpoints: "I hate the poor, if anyone wants something for nothing, he's a fool, let him pay up, he'll get it" (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum , Quoted by Mac Mullin.
Some general issues- Wealthy were obsessed with gaining more wealth - obsession being the issue. The love of money was the root of evil which inevitably creates an unfavorable effect in some manner. Money and wealth within itself is not evil; Advance education and good dialogue (in addition to wealth) were the means of some accepting and treating others properly; upward mobility was based off wealth (and heritage), therefore, the people of lesser wealth were seriously challenged by top hierarchies (top rank.) If lower class, one's talent and aggressiveness could help one's personal improvement in life for them and their family only with the sponsor of someone in authority; State distributed greater goods (food and money) to the more fortunate; food portions were deemed by personal status.
Some religious issues - There was pagan worship in many forms (polytheism) and Christianity falsely became part of the scandals within pagan faiths; Syncretism - combining of various teachings, beliefs, and practices of paganism and cults; Stoicism - a system of pantheistic monism (God of any form of material universe and there is no difference between mental and physical properties.); Astrology - fate link to the stars; Magic- human relation to power of the universe (superstitions, sorcery, amulets, magical power of statues, formulas for healing and cursing) were all viewed as religions; Judaism - one of many different doctrinal issues that created hostility was: Judaism believed that non-Jews had to immerse into water and repent to be converted to Judaism. Therefore, for a Jew to be offered baptism was liken to Jew being perceived as a non-Jew. A Jew being perceived as a non-Jew was an insult to a Jew. In addition, the belief that being born of a Jewish family and not disregarding the law was a way to salvation, any belief in opposition to this was an insult. It was not only doctrinal differences, the "no strife over doctrine" that Christianity practices was thrown out of the window. It got heated.
So yes, looking at all the above attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors of some in Judea, Galilee, politics (national and local), religions, and other general societal issues, there was a need for Jesus Christ courageously to preach for change. The loving act of change was clearly needed for God, self, and others. Again, I hope this lesson helps you in new biblical learnings, refreshed biblical learnings, awareness of your loving act of change when or if needed for God, yourself, and others, and the courage to speak for change when or where change is needed. God bless you and your family, in Christ Jesus.