17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven has come near." This was the exact same message that John the Baptist preached in the previous chapter, and it may have been what got him arrested by King Herod. We are told that Jesus' hearing of John's imprisonment was the event that prompted Jesus to start his ministry and to fearlessly preach the same message of John the Baptist.
The message Jesus preaches is a promise, or a threat, depending on your perspective. If you are Herod, you are very happy with the current arrangements, and the message of another kingdom drawing near is not good news. But if you see that the world is a mess in need of change, Jesus' message is great news.
I have decided that Jesus' message is great news. I want to put my trust in the kingdom of heaven. To repent is to change one's mind and go in a new direction. When I find I'm going the wrong way, I have to ask Jesus to lead me in the way I should go. We are in the kingdom of heaven when we do the will of Jesus.
God, help me to be brave, to trust you more each day, to listen to your message: "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven has come near."