BIBLE VERSES EXPLAINED
Mark 1:15—“The Kingdom of God Is at Hand”
“The appointed time has been fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has drawn near. Repent, and have faith in the good news.”—Mark 1:15, New World Translation.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”—Mark 1:15, English Standard Version.
Meaning of Mark 1:15
Jesus Christ said that the Kingdom of God a was “at hand,” or had “drawn near,” because he, as the future King of that Kingdom, was present on the scene.
Jesus did not mean that the Kingdom had already begun ruling. In fact, he later indicated to his disciples that the Kingdom was still in the future. (Acts 1:6, 7) However, he had arrived right on schedule, in the very year that the Bible had foretold he would appear as the future King. b For this reason, Jesus could say: “The appointed time has been fulfilled”—the time for him to begin his public ministry of preaching the gospel, or good news, regarding the Kingdom.—Luke 4:16-21, 43.
For people to benefit from the good news about the Kingdom, they needed to repent, that is, to feel regret over past sins and to live by God’s standards. Those who repented showed that they had faith in the good news about that future Kingdom.
Context of Mark 1:15
Jesus said these words at the start of his ministry in Galilee. “From that time on,” states the parallel account at Matthew 4:17, Jesus preached about the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom was the theme of Jesus’ ministry. In fact, the Kingdom is mentioned over 100 times in the four Gospels c, most often in statements that Jesus made. In the Bible record, Jesus spoke more about the Kingdom of God than he did about any other subject.
Read Mark chapter 1 along with explanatory footnotes, cross-references, pictures, and a map.
a The Kingdom of God is the government in heaven established by God to accomplish his will for the earth. (Daniel 2:44; Matthew 6:10) For further details, see the article “What Is the Kingdom of God?”
b Jesus was to become a king in order to fulfill one of his roles as the foretold Messiah, God’s special representative. For more information on Bible prophecies pointing to Jesus as the Messiah, see “Do Messianic Prophecies Prove That Jesus Was the Messiah?”
c The Gospels are the first four books of the Christian Greek Scriptures, commonly called the New Testament, which provide an account of Jesus’ life and ministry.