After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14-15) NIV
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (ESV)
It was after John’s arrest that Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God, saying, “The time has come at last—the kingdom of God has arrived. You must change your hearts and minds and believe the good news.” (JBP)
It's time!!! The time for which you have been waiting for thousands of years. The kingdom of God has arrived! It's here! At hand! And that is such great news! No more waiting, no more watching; no more hoping and dreaming and longing for Him to arrive. No more waiting for Him to intervene, and to deliver us from the hand of our enemies. The King has come! He is in his kingdom! Good news? I should say so! Therefore, repent (change your hearts and minds) and believe the Good News.
I don't know about you, maybe it's the way I've heard the word, or the tone I've heard it uttered in, but repent and Good News do not, for some reason, seem to go hand-in-hand to me. I guess somehow I always hear the word repent followed by the words you filthy sinner (which I know the truth of all too well). Almost as if repenting was connected with bad news...i.e. repent, or else!!! But here Jesus comes, proclaiming the Good News, and saying repent and believe in the Good News!!! Almost as if he were saying, "You've believed in (and followed) the bad news for long enough. Now turn (your hearts and your minds) in a new direction and believe the Good News. The Good News being that I am crazy in love with you! The Good News being that you are my joy and my delight! The Good News being that I think about you all the time and can't get you off my mind! The Good News being that I would rather die for you than live without you. In fact, I died that you might not have to live lives that are held captive by sin and death and fear and lies any longer, but lives that are full and free and filled with my great affection for you. Now that's Good News. Turn toward it, live into it, believe it...even if it sounds too good to be true. Because, in fact, it is too good...but it's also too true!"