“Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, and that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,”
At first glance, this seems like just a simple word where there is only one way to obtain eternal life. However, this verse about repentance shows the two processes to have eternal life and sins forgiven. The first step is “Repent” and the second step is “convert”. Both are similar, but very different in practice. That is, it is about the grace that comes through God’s favor, it is God who grants us repentance through his kindness (Romans 2:4). On the other hand, talking about conversion is something personal to each person and it is necessary to seek it with great insistence.
John the Baptist’s preaching was aimed at repentance, a repentance that aims at a change of direction or route. According to Paul’s writings the word for repentance is “change of mind.”
Writer R. C. Sproul in his book on “what is repentance” describes repentance as “a significant change of mind” or “a reconsideration.”
Similarly, the Greek word for repentance is “metanoia,” in other words, it is to change the mind.
If someone has ever asked you the following question, what would you do to change things in the past? What would you relive to avoid facing today’s uncomfortable situation again? Certainly you would do everything differently, if in any case the decisions of the past torment you to this day. The process of repentance is a new opportunity to begin a new story with God and a new opportunity for your soul.
Evidently, as Christians we would want to go back to the past to fix some points that were out of place. We would rewrite a new life story, because sin is surrounding us and leads us to sadness and loneliness. Mark’s gospel shows the emergence of John, the Baptist announcing the kingdom of God in the desert. The basis of his preaching was “calling sinners to repentance.”
After all, heartfelt repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit, as Paul describes in his epistle to the Romans.
Therefore, upon having palpable repentance and the conversion of the soul to the Lord, man now finds peace and refreshment because of the presence of the Holy Spirit within man.
“For there is no good tree that bears bad fruit, nor a bad tree that bears good fruit.”
Jesus meant that man is known by his actions. If man practices God’s goodness and mercy, he is seen as a good tree before God. For this reason, the good tree that produces good fruit is known for its character. In Romans the apostle Paul describes that we are just people who have been grafted into the good tree that is Christ.
Furthermore, Jesus himself describes that his disciples are the branches and he himself is the true vine. Therefore, there is no way for the branch that is in Jesus to produce bad fruit. The fruits reveal who the person is. It is important to describe that there are the fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are had through the indwelling of the Spirit, which generates in the spirit of man all kinds of goodness. On the other hand, the fruits of the flesh are had through the desires of the soul that is inclined to the delights of this life.
After all, the mouth speaks of what the heart is full of. Fill yourself with goodness that comes through the knowledge of Christ, which is reflecting the image and likeness of the Creator. The model must always be Christ – for this reason, the Apostle Paul writes that he is an imitator of Christ and that Christ’s walk leads us to practice God’s righteousness.
“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will make you hear my words.”
A consensus imagines that the potter’s field was below the temple. Where the prophet Jeremiah was in the temple and upon hearing the voice of God to come down, he went to the potter’s field below the temple. However, some scholars say that there is no way to say this, considering that the potter’s house was outside the city, close to the potter’s field (Matthew 17).
Evidently, the prophet should be fallen or lying down – which God, in turn, tells the prophet to get up and go to a place where clay vessels are shaped.
In the context of Jeremiah 18, it describes that the vase breaks in the potter’s hand, it was not God who broke the vase, but rather that the vase broke itself in the shaper’s hand. The psalmist describes that God cannot resist a broken heart (a vessel that breaks), in the gospel of Jesus Christ it is described that a woman broke before the feet of Jesus (the potter). However, she broke an alabaster vase filled with expensive perfume in worship of Jesus.
Therefore, the passages from the Old and New Testaments are connected by the fact that they are broken by their own will. The act of the vase breaking is recognizing God and allowing oneself to be shaped by God. Applying his essence to man and making an old vessel (fallen nature) into a new vessel (new birth). After all, we were called to live a new life in the grace of God that came through Jesus of Nazareth.