JESUS PREACHES REPENTANCE
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15and saying,
“THE TIME IS FULFILLED, AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND; REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL.”
16Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
17And Jesus said to them,
“FOLLOW ME, AND I WILL MAKE YOU BECOME FISHERS OF MEN.”
18And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
19And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets.
20And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
This narrative starts from when Lord Jesus returned to Judea after the temptations in the desert (Mt 4:12; Mk 1:14; Jn 3:22, 24). After preaching there and meeting Andrew and another of John’s disciples (Jn 1:35, 40), and after John the Baptist was arrested, He returned to Galilee from Judea, and preached ‘Repentance and Faith in God’, through Himself.
Some people claim today only faith for salvation and forgiveness of sins, but as we see in the example of the Lord, He did not stop only in demanding faith in Himself to be forgiven, Jesus ask for repentance, that is, the firm decision to renounce to a life of sin, and submit to God’s sovereignty, through Himself as the Messiah, the Lamb of God.
REPENTANCE is crucial for salvation.
If we consider the reason for the atonement, we come into the undeniable conclusion that ‘WHITOUT HOLINESS NOBODY WILL SEE GOD” (Hebrews 12:14).
JESUS incarnated and died for us, to gain that perfect holiness that it was impossible for us to attain by ourselves. And why did He have to do that?
Because God the Father could not save us in a sinful state, contrary to his Divine Nature of perfection.
God’s intention for us, and our requirement for attaining salvation, has always been, is and will be HOLINESS.
Not because God thus He just desires, but because in his natural perfection, God cannot allow in his bosom, sinfulness, imperfection, or incompleteness.
We need to be perfect, and to make us perfect, Jesus died on our behalf, to forgive and justify us, and gave us the Holy Spirit to make this imputed holiness a physical reality.
Lord Jesus preached Faith in God, through Himself (Jn 3:36), but He also preached Repentance, so that anyone who decided to be saved, would turn away from his own sinfulness, and submit to God’s righteousness as an initial step to be justified. Without repentance, conviction of sin, our Faith is fruitless, and we cannot be forgiven or justified. And this is the same message the Apostles preached from day one:
"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The account also tells us in a resumed manner, the calling of Andrew, Peter, James, and John.
The accounts tells that they immediately left their families and their jobs to follow the Lord.
They knew Jesus from before, and when they did this, they already had prepared everything before they left to follow Jesus
(Jn 1:40-42; Lk 4:38; 5:3-5).
But what is important to notice is that they did. They accepted the call, and everything it may come from it.
None of the apostles put before their call to serve God, their property, or family, or personal priorities. They accepted their call, regardless of what it may happen to them, because when they did, they knew they were given the honor to follow the Messiah, the Son of God.