“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15, NIV)
There is a simple, literal rendering of this word meaning “to change one’s mind.” That doesn’t capture what Jesus is asking of us.
Closer to the meaning might be: “Change your entire outlook on life, the worldview that shapes everything you think and do.”
You can change your mind on white bread and realize whole wheat is better for you. That’s changing your mind, but not really the essence of this word to “repent.”
“Instead we should picture someone who has left their lucrative job in high finance to become a communist agitator, or who has abandoned their leadership of a far-right white supremacy movement to work as a liberal and progressive equal rights lawyer. These are changes of mind that would affect every aspect of that person’s life: their relationships, their lifestyle, their allegiances, their worldview, their very sense of identity. To repent is to experience a change of outlook and perspective that reshapes you from the heart outward and leaves no part of your life untouched.” — Chris Webb, God Soaked Life