Jesus was not so much telling people to repent as to turn their thinking around for doing better.

Monday, 1/5/15

Today, our reading is from Matthew’s Gospel where Chapter 4, verse 17 sums up the basic message in the preaching of Jesus as “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The single Greek word Matthew wrote for the message of Jesus was Metanoia. With Meta meaning “around,” and Noia meaning “thinking,” Jesus was telling all the people to turn their thinking around.

Our English translation of what Matthew wrote leads us to think that Jesus was  telling people to beat their chests in sorrow for past sins. But, no, he was actually telling them to look forward toward making a better life for themselves and others.

Instead of being obsessed with confessing and grieving over our sins, we should leave them to God’s mercy, while we busy our minds and efforts with making better lives for ourselves and others. 

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