Preaching a baptism of repentance (Lk 3:3-3:3)

“John went

Into all the region

Around the Jordan River.

He was proclaiming

A baptism

Of repentance

For the forgiveness

Of sins.”

 

καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν,

 

This section of Luke is very similar to all the other 4 gospel stories.  Luke explicitly said that John went into all the region around the Jordan River (καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου).  Mark, chapter 1:4, had the simple statement that John the Baptizer, appeared in the wilderness or desert, without mentioning the Jordan River.  However, Luke was actually closer to Mark, since he used the exact same words about John’s preaching.  He indicated that John was proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν).  Matthew, chapter 3:2, said that the preaching message of John was very simple.  They should repent, turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit.  The equivalent about repentance, metanoia, or the change of heart can also be found in both Mark and Luke.  Matthew had John say that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, coming near.  The other canonical gospel writers did not use this term “kingdom of heaven.”  John, chapter l:19-29, had a long dialogue with John and the priests and Levites about what he was doing.  How and what John did before or after this preaching in the wilderness did not matter.  He was there proclaiming a baptism of repentance, a life change, or a metanoia, to have sins or faults forgiven or wiped away.

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Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand (Mk 1:15-1:15)

“Jesus said.

‘The time is fulfilled!

The kingdom of God

Is at hand!

Repent!

Believe

In the gospel.’”

 

καὶ λέγων ὅτι Πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρὸς καὶ ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ· μετανοεῖτε καὶ πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ

 

The preaching of Jesus was like that of John the Baptist.  Matthew said that Jesus was proclaiming the same message as John the Baptist.  It almost seemed 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 (μετανοεῖτε).  People should turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit.  Matthew, chapter 4:17, was very close to Mark here, except that Matthew always used the term “kingdom of heaven (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν)”, not “the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ),” as Mark does here.  Matthew used this apocalyptic phrase, “kingdom of heaven” over 30 times, but he was the only one of the canonical gospel writers to use this term.  Luke and John did not mention the content of Jesus’ initial preaching.  Mark recounted that Jesus said (καὶ λέγων) that the time was completed or fulfilled (ὅτι Πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρὸς).  The kingdom of God was at hand or coming near (καὶ ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  They had to repent or change their ways in a metanoia (μετανοεῖτε).  They had to believe in the gospel or good news (καὶ πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ).  Belief or faith could be a noun, something believed or a verb, acting in a certain belief style.

Jesus teaches repentance (Mt 4:17-4:17)

“From that time on,

Jesus began to proclaim.

‘Repent!

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.”

The message of repentance (Mt 3:2-3:2)

Repent!

The kingdom of heaven

Has come near.”

 

λέγων Μετανοεῖτε· ἤγγικεν γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

 

The preaching message of John was very simple. John said that they should repent (λέγων Μετανοεῖτε). They should turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit. The equivalent about repentance, metanoia, or the change of heart can be found in Mark, chapter 1:4, and Luke chapter 3:3. Matthew had John 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 heaven. In fact, it is in the plural “heavens,” perhaps due to the Hebrew word for heaven that was both singular and plural. Only Matthew used this apocalyptic phrase over 30 times. The other canonical gospel writers did not use this term, “kingdom of heaven.”