Opposition & Proclamation

Jesus began to proclaim the Kingdom of God following the arrest of John the Baptist, an incident that foreshadowed the opposition he would face throughout his Messianic mission, resistance that would culminate in his own arrest, trial, and execution in Jerusalem. His ministry commenced in the villages of Galilee. Unlike the prophets of Ancient Israel, his work did NOT begin in or concentrate on the city of Jerusalem, though it certainly ended there - (Matthew 4:13).

Lighthouse Storm - Photo by James Peacock on Unsplash
[Photo by James Peacock on Unsplash]

Though unsure of who he was, many men responded enthusiastically and flocked to hear the Nazarene. In contrast, the religious leaders associated with the Temple were offended by his teachings, methods, and deeds.

  • (Mark 1:14-15) - "And after John was delivered up, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God and saying: The season is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has drawn near. Repent and have faith in the gospel.”

Jesus was neither a Pharisee nor a scribe, nor was he a member of the priestly class. He had no direct connection to the Temple, and he did not have any rabbinical training. Nonetheless, he entered synagogues in Galilee to preach the imminent Kingdom of God. In doing so, he astounded all those who heard him, “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

On his own initiative, he called disciples to leave their homes and livelihoods and follow him. Jesus had authority over demons and diseases, and He exercised sufficient authority not only to heal lepers but to remain free of ritual impurities after touching them - (Mark 1:16-45).


To one and all, he announced the “Good News” of the Kingdom. The time to repent and believe the Gospel had arrived. While Mark does not define the “Kingdom of God,” the phrase summarizes the teachings of Jesus in his Gospel account.

The ministry of the Messiah began after the arrest of John by Herod Antipas. According to Like’s gospel, he was arrested for criticizing Herod over his unlawful marriage - (Luke 3:19-20).

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus departed for Galilee after John’s arrest. This was not to escape Herod’s jurisdiction since Galilee was part of his domain. The text states only that he went there to proclaim the Gospel - (Matthew 4:12-17).

Matthew points to the arrival of Jesus in Galilee as the fulfillment of the messianic passage found in the Book of Isaiah, and so, his ministry began on a strong note of fulfillment - (Isaiah 9:1-2).

In Mark, the Greek verb rendered “delivered up” is theologically loaded (paradidōmiStrong’s #G3860). Mark repeatedly applies it to the “handing over” of the faithful for abuse by religious and governmental authorities.

The Baptist also was “handed over” for arrest although this was in accordance with the plan of God. The references to Jesus being “delivered up” also allude to the fate of Isaiah’s ‘Suffering Servant’:

  • Because his soul was delivered to death, and he was numbered among the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many and was delivered up because of their iniquities - (Mark 9:31, 10:33, Isaiah 53:12).

By coordinating the start of his mission with John’s arrest, Mark indicates that his ministry did not begin until the ministry of John terminated. The preparatory work of the Baptist was finished, so the work of the “Coming One” now commenced.

The historical context of John’s arrest means that the Gospel began in adversity. John withdrew to the wilderness to administer a baptism of repentance. In contrast, Jesus began his mission by traveling to the populous regions in Galilee where he proclaimed the “Good News” to all who would hear.


Upon arriving in Galilee, Jesus announced that the “appointed time” was fulfilled. This represents the Greek term kairos or “season, time, the opportune time” (Strong’s - #G2540). And the verb rendered “fulfilled” is in a perfect verb tense, signifying a completed action. His announcement echoes a passage in Daniel:

  • (Daniel 12:4-9) – “Close up the words and seal the book until the time of the end… And I heard but could not understand, so I said, O my lord, what shall be the issue of these things? Then said he: Go your way, Daniel; for closed up and sealed are the words until the time of the end.

Prominent in Daniel is the theme of God’s sovereignty and the promise of the future vindication of His saints. According to Jesus, that time was now “at hand.” Hence, the promised kingdom arrived in the person and ministry of the Nazarene. This is why despite opposition from Satan and the religious authorities, his proclamation was and is “Good News” – (Daniel 2:44-45, Daniel 7:13-14, 7:27).

The term “Kingdom of God” means the rule and sovereignty of God and something more than geographical jurisdiction. The Greek word rendered “Kingdom” can be translated as “dominion,” “realm,” or “reign,” in short, the dominion or reign of God over all things administered through His Son – (Daniel 7:13-14).

How did individuals respond to the proclamation of the Kingdom? First, Jesus called them to “repent.” Second, he summoned them to “believe” the Good News. Like the Baptist, he proclaimed the imminence of the “Kingdom,” and its approach necessitated repentance and faith.

But, although the arrival of the Kingdom is “Good News” for many, it also signaled impending doom for others. A person’s destiny depends on how he responds to the Gospel. To enter the kingdom requires faith and repentance.

Repentance” is a turning away from something, while “belief” is a turning toward something else – faith in the Gospel and the one who inaugurates, pronounces, and establishes it is the only proper response to the message of the Nazarene.



Salvation for All Nations

God has Spoken!