Parable of Repentance

{Matthew 4:17; ESV}

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Repentance is like a man who lived in a strict and oppressive nation. He loved his country because it was his homeland, the place of his birth and the home of his friends and family. The man rarely agreed with the actions of the king, but the kingdom was home.

One day ambassadors from a distant kingdom came to visit the king. The ambassadors explained that they represented a kingdom that was a land of freedom and prosperity. The king of this distant land wanted to trade with the king of man's homeland.

The ambassadors moved freely around the kingdom telling people of the freedom, joy, and peace they enjoyed in their homeland. These stories stirred up longings in the man's heart. He began to dream of what it would be like to live in a place of freedom and abundance.

The king did not like the following the ambassadors were gaining from his citizens. He had the ambassadors arrested and beaten up. This made the man angry. He was tired of the king's bad behavior.

After many envoys were sent from the distant kingdom the king relented and released the ambassadors so they could go home, but first they had to promise never to return.

Before leaving the ambassadors gave one last public plea to the citizens of the nation. Even though the king had rejected their offer to trade the citizens could still share in the freedom and prosperity of their kingdom. What the citizens needed to do was to denounce their loyalty to their homeland and declare allegiance to the king and kingdom of the free and prosperous land.

The man was torn. He did love his homeland because it was what he knew and where his family lived. Still the stories of the distant land tugged on his heart for it offered him the life he longed to live.

When the man looked around him and he saw the oppression and squalor he was able to make up his mind. He declared to everyone that he was leaving the land of his birth and he proclaimed that he would be loyal to the king of the distant land. The man packed his bags and began the journey to his new home.

Questions to consider:

  • How would you describe repentance?
  • Why is repentance necessary for us to be part of God's Kingdom?
  • Why is repentance a daily necessity?
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