Matthew 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Jesus began not to preach till St. John had announced his coming to the world, that the dignity of his sacred person might thus be manifested, and the incredulous Jews be without excuse. If after the preaching of St. John, and his express testimony of the divinity of our Redeemer, they could still say: thou givest testimony of thyself; thy testimony is not true: what would they not have said, if, without any precursor, he had, all on a sudden, appeared amongst them. He did not begin to preach till St. John was cast into prison, that the people might not be divided. On this account also St. John wrought no miracle, that the people might be struck with the miracles of our Saviour, and yield their assent to him. (St. Chrysostom, hom. 14.) It may here be remarked, how different were the motives of the prophets from those which the baptist and Christ made use of to exhort to repentance. The former menaced evil, and held out a promise of good, but the good or evil was temporal. St. John beg...


AD 420
Shewing also thereby that He was Son of that same God whose prophet John was; and therefore He says, “Repent ye.”For repentance corrects the will; and if yew ill not repent through fear of evil, at least ye may for the pleasure of good things; hence He says, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand;” that is, the blessings of the heavenly kingdom. As if He has said, Prepare yourselves by repentance, for the time of eternal reward is at hand. Mystically interpreted, Christ begins to preach as soon as John was delivered to prison, because when the Law ceased, the Gospel commenced.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Christ’s Gospel should be preached by him who can control his appetites, who contemns the goods of this life, and desires not empty honours. “From this time began Jesus to preach,” that is, after having been tempted, He had overcome hunger in the desert, despised covetousness on the mountain, rejected ambitious desires in the temple. Or from the time that John was delivered up; for had He begun to preach while John was yet preaching, He would have made John be lightly accounted of, and John’s preaching would have been though superfluous by the side of Christ’s teaching; as when the sun rises at the sametime with the morning star, the star’s brightness is hid. For another cause also He did not preach till John was in prison, that the multitude might not be split into two parties; or as John did no miracle, all men would have been drawn to Christ by His miracles. He did wisely in making now the beginning of His preaching, that He should not trample upon John’s teaching, but that He might...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
From that time: what time? After John was cast into prison. And wherefore did He not preach to them from the beginning? Indeed what occasion for John at all, when the witness of His works was proclaiming Him? That hence also you might learn His dignity; namely, that as the Fathers, so He too has prophets; to which purpose Zacharias also spoke; And you, child, shall be called a prophet of the Highest. Luke 1:76 And that he might leave no occasion to the shameless Jews; which motive He himself alleged, saying, John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, he has a devil. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. And moreover it was necessary that what concerned Him should be spoken by another first and not by Himself. For if even after both testimonies and demonstrations so many and so great, they said, You bear record of Yourself, Your record is...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
In this He further teaches that none should despise the words of a person inferior to Him; as also the Apostle, “If any thing be revealed to him that sits, let the first hold his peace.”

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
And note, He does not say the kingdom of the Canaanite, or the Jebusite, is at hand; the “the kingdom of heaven.” The law promised worldly goods, but the Lord heavenly kingdoms.

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
From the time John was arrested, Jesus began to preach. For Jesus waited for John to first bear witness to Him and to prepare the way for Him, in the same manner in which servants make preparations for their masters. Being equal to the Father, the Lord also had John as a prophet, just as God the Father had the prophets who were before John; yet in truth these were the prophets of both the Father and the Son. The kingdom of heaven is Christ and it is also the life of virtue. For when someone lives as an angel on earth, is he not heavenly? So the kingdom of heaven is within each one of us when we live as angels.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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