In verses 4-8, we see the entrance of John the Baptist. Can’t you just picture him with this description. And you know what? He looks different, doesn’t he? Mark makes it clear to us that he is not like the other religious leaders. Not in his dress, not in his actions (baptism of repentance) and not in his message – the savior is coming.
When is it time …? The fourth chapter of Matthew inspires that question. This is the place in the story of Jesus where he decides the time is right to step into his public ministry. The Kingdom of Heaven has now come near, in earnest. A new movement is about to make itself known. And here, we learn how Jesus began the movement that changed the world.
The road that leads into the Kingdom of Heaven runs through fire and axes and water. That road invites us to separate the Kingdom of Self from the Kingdom of God – to let go of things that have no Kingdom value and clear a road for Jesus to come in.