Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
Jesus came into Galilee to proclaim the gospel. He did not start in Jerusalem, at the spiritual epicenter, He went back to his hometown. To many, this would be entirely the opposite of what they would have expected. Why would the Messiah not come to His temple to inaugurate the Kingdom of God? After all, the temple is where God promised to dwell among His people; it was God’s house. The truth is that the Messiah did come to His temple, but His temple was not the stone building in Jerusalem. God has said “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord.”
The entire cosmos is God’s temple! All human beings are made in the image of God and meant to bear His image in the world, not just the wealthy, the educated, the theologically trained, or the ones with the “right” ethnicity. He comes here to show that the gospel is for everyone and that His redemption will include people from every walk of life.
Jesus did not wait for others to come out to Him, as they went out to John, instead He went out to the people. This is the very nature of God, that He stoops low in order to meet with us and restore us. If God’s Kingdom was only to be filled by the people who came to Jesus on their own, then Jesus would be the King of an empty kingdom. If we are to be saved, Jesus must come to us. We love Him because He first loved us; God shows His love for us by sending Jesus to us while we were still sinners, while we were still His enemies! Apart from His initiative, we would never experience His love and apart from His love, we would perish. This is the truth we profess when we quote John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already.” The King of the universe has come down to rescue us!
Grace and Peace,