Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Repent And Believe

Jesus holds out for us a defining way to live: repent and believe (Mark 1:15).

To repent means to embrace a change of mind, of perspective, of direction, of purpose, in order to keep in step with God, in order to walk with him as with a friend.  It includes turning around, turning back, when we have gone away from God, but it is much bigger than that.

To believe means to step out, actively, with a deliberate intentionality that gives outward expression to our new inner purpose.

This is how Jesus lived.

Jesus pioneers the life of repentance and belief for us:

at his baptism, where he turns from the purpose of an itinerant construction worker (carpenter = more house-builder than furniture-maker) (absolutely the right purpose up until this point; but no longer so, moving into the future) to the purpose of an itinerant preacher, healer and demon-confronter;

when he calls certain others to turn from the varied purposes of harvesting fish, or collecting tax, or participating in the royal court, or murdering Roman soldiers, or life lived under demonic affliction, or (after his death, resurrection, and ascension) persecuting his own followers, to share in and extend his mission;

whenever he moves from one village, where God has sent him, to another village, to which God is sending him now;

when he turns from Galilee towards Jerusalem...

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