Instagram Jesus Week 5: Devotional Day 2
DAY 2 – Tuesday
Mark 1:14-15; Revelation 21:1-4
What did Jesus mean when he said “the time is fulfilled”? How is this connected with the next statement “the kingdom of God is at hand”?
For the past few years on Easter Eve, I’ve attended a church in the Boston area. The lengthy service starts out in darkness for an hour with the only light coming from candles (like when we sing “Silent Night” at Chapel Hill). The candles are eventually blown out and the congregation sits in darkness and quietness. Then all the lights in the chapel come on in full brightness and all the people stand cheering and ringing bells. The darkness is gone, the light has come. It is a celebratory moment!
Revelation 21:1-4 certainly seems to have this sense of celebration with death, mourning, crying, and pain all described as being no more as God’s kingdom is fully established. Perhaps such is what the people expected when Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:14), a dramatic change. Yet, instead of everything becoming bright and clear with the coming of Jesus, darkness (death, mourning, pain, etc.) continued to exist.
Notice the first phrase in Mark 1:14. When John the Baptist was arrested then Jesus declared the kingdom of God is at hand. In his commentary on the passage, James Edwards writes, “The arrest of John and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry are intentionally correlated to show that the gospel is proclaimed and known in adversity and suffering”.
What is the kingdom of God? The ESV Study Bible notes that the phrase “the kingdom of God is at hand” means “that God’s rule over people’s hearts and lives is now being established.” Even when we feel like we are still surrounded by darkness, we know that we have the light of Christ and look forward to the day when it will become a blazing light for all the world to see with the second coming of Jesus Christ (Rev. 21:1-4).
 James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, Pillar New Testament Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 44.