And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
1. Repentance is generally made the child of fear; both John and Christ pressed people to repent because something good and happy was coming. This is true to our nature; men would rather turn their conduct by an expectation of good than by denunciation of evil. Fear is repellent, hope is an attraction; coldness hardens, warmth softens. Let man see a future near he likes and he will leave the past.
2. What God means when He says "Repent." It is not remorse, sorrow, conviction, but a change of mind. You want a great change before Christ comes.
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)His sermon was an exhortation to repentance and a holy life.
I. REPENTANCE IS THE FIRST INTROMISSION INTO THE SANCTITIES OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION. The Lord treads upon no paths that are not(1) hallowed and made smooth by the sorrows and cares of contrition;
(2) cleared of the impediments of sin by dereliction, and the succeeding fruits of emendation.
II. His BAPTISM DID SIGNIFY by a cognation to their usual rites and ceremonies of ablution and washing Gentile proselytes, that the Jews had so far receded from their duty and that holiness which God required of them by the law, that they were in the state of strangers.
(1) To be treated themselves as Gentile proselytes
(2) by baptism
(3) and a new state of life
(4) before they could be accepted by the Messias
(5) or admitted to His kingdom.
Parallel VersesKJV: And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.