March 1, 2017: How Much Time Does Jesus Give to Repent?

Morning: Matthew 11:16-24; Noon: Numbers 15:1-18:7; Evening: Psalm 37:12-23

“Ooone…. Twoooo…. Three! That’s it! You’re getting it now!” Did your parents or guardians sound something like that when you were a kid? You had until the count of three to get right or else the one in charge was about to get sprite!

There is no exact timeline given to us regarding God’s longsuffering. We can, however, get a pretty good feel for it as we walk with the Lord in the first century. Some estimate His great Galilean ministry between the Autumn of 27 A.D. and the Spring of 29 A.D. This would be close to right around a year and a half’s length of time. In just this short time period Jesus would accomplish what most Rabbi’s would never accomplish in a lifetime. Jesus would perform countless miracles, preach to thousands of people, reach out to people of mixed race, gender, and nationality, send out several disciples who would magnify His ministry and message, and be reported among the entire land and region, a report that would reach even into the prison cell of John the Baptist. Nevertheless, within the time span of one and a half years, Jesus finds that the people have yet to turn from their sins. Therefore, Jesus rebukes them with a series of woes. The hammer was dropped and the Lord pronounced them now guilty.

A year and a half is not a lengthy period of time, but it isn’t a short period of time either. It isn’t too much, but it isn’t too little. In terms of repentance, a simple change of mind followed by an acknowledgement of walking a crooked path to destruction, it is enough time for this process to take place. Some would probably say it is more than enough. I believe I would be inclined to believe that as well. It is certainly plenty of time to search the Scriptures and know what is right and what is wrong. Most that I know have heard the Lord’s message much longer than that and still refuse to change. Assuredly, their guilt has already been pronounced. What about you? How long have you heard the word? Has Jesus already made known to you something for many years, but you still haven’t changed? Jesus will not wait forever.

“Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago…”

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