In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matt. 3:2)
From that time on [after Jesus had heard of John's imprisonment] Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matt. 4:17)
"As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.’"
These verses indicate that Jesus did not make up his teachings. Once his teacher John the Baptist was imprisoned, Jesus passed on those teachings, and asked his own students to do pass them on as well.
Near is not a time element: Near is an element of distance.
Where is the "kingdom?"
What was that fruit? The fruit is envy - where we wanted to know what it was like to enjoy and be in control like God ("like one of Us, knowing good and evil" Gen. 3:22).
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will." (Matt. 26:39)
This article is republished from The Real Teachings of Jesus.