“From that time on,
Jesus began to proclaim.
The kingdom of heaven
Has come near.’”
Ἀπὸ τότε ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς κηρύσσειν καὶ λέγειν Μετανοεῖτε, ἤγγικεν γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.
Matthew had another unique comment about and his preaching. He said that from that time on (Ἀπὸ τότε ἤρξατο), Jesus was proclaiming (ὁ Ἰησοῦς κηρύσσειν) the same message as John the Baptist in the preceding chapter, 3:2. It almost seems like Jesus had become a disciple of John. The preaching messages of John the Baptist and Jesus were very simple and exactly the same. They both said that people should repent (λέγειν Μετανοεῖτε). People should turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit. Matthew had John and Jesus say that the kingdom of heaven (γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν) was at hand, coming near (ἤγγικεν). Notice that Matthew did not say the kingdom of God, but the kingdom of “heavens.” Perhaps this was due to the Hebrew word for heaven that was both singular and plural. Matthew used this apocalyptic phrase over 30 times. He was the only one of the canonical gospel writers to use this term, “kingdom of heaven.”