“From that time on” points to a significant shift in direction. It was so then, but something happened, and from that time on it is now this. It speaks of a turning point.
For Jesus, it marked the beginning of his Galilean ministry, after he had fasted forty days and forty nights and after he was tempted by the devil. “From that time on, Jesus began to preach ….” (Mt 4:17).
Then it was after Peter had professed that he was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Now that his disciples realized who he was, he could reveal what was going to happen to him. “From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” (Mt 16:21).
Now, as Jesus approached the appointed time, he would be betrayed by Judas Iscariot. The chief priests paid Judas thirty pieces of silver, “and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.” (Mt 26:16).
The turning point can be about momentous good, such as the start of a massive evangelistic ministry, or such as the revelation of one’s destiny according to God’s plan. But it can also be about great evil, such as betraying the Lord and one’s own calling as one sent forth.
How about us? It is Lent once again. It is time to reflect ever more deeply on God’s call to us, on turning away from the wrong we do, on surrendering our lives totally to Jesus, on allowing the Holy Spirit to work in power in our lives. May we make decisions only for the good, for what is right and just and true. May we come before the Lord and resolve, “from this time on ….”
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)