“Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
We are quick to point out where others need to repent, where people fall short, where they differ from what we perceive as right or righteous. It is a temptation we fall into so easily and so frequently.
We forget, this was just the beginning. The apostles had three years to follow Jesus, learn, witness miracles, and share fellowship. Jesus would spend years forming them, accompanying them. Jesus was honest from the beginning – there would be repentance and the call to believe. Yet, Jesus knew they would need time and plenty of ways to grow. Even then, they would fall short – Peter would deny and Thomas would doubt.
The apostles not only experienced and believed the gospel, but they came to know their own need for repentance.
Next time I find myself tipping into a statement that points out the wrongs of another, the faults or foibles, the sins I hope I can pause. I hope I can remember that this call of Jesus is not for me to repeat to another, but to myself. May I remember I am still on that journey of drawing closer to Jesus and to humbly share that same patience with others on the journey.