v 17. From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
Matthew makes clear the nature of Jesus’ ministry in calling people to turn their lives round and follow God’s way. Repentance demands change in a person’s life – a message that would have been unacceptable to Jewish leaders. They thought they were already in tune with God and would have regarded Jesus as an arrogant upstart for making such demands.