In the world of product development and marketing, there are knock-offs and unauthorized offerings. However, when someone gets the “real thing”, there is a noticeable difference in quality and impact. The “real deal” always has some kind of invisible quality about it that is not easily reproduced in knockoffs. A new product or service also has a way of disrupting the status quo and existing systems.
Until John the Baptist, the “Kingdom” message had not been preached. There was the Law and the prophets who pointed toward that day when the message would arrive in the flesh. John was the “marketer” announcing the “roll-out” of this message. But Jesus was the “face and spokesperson” of the reintroduction of “Eden” which had been mishandled by the original Adam. Jesus was the PROTOTYPE, showing his sales force disciples how this Kingdom product worked. He was the “authorized dealer” who promoted the (Gospel of the Kingdom) product himself, to bring its benefits to the public. This product could not be purchased with money, but it was given away to the worthy who had faith to receive it.
So, John had enough information about this Kingdom that he could offer people an opportunity to pre-order this product via their baptism of repentance. They made this small down payment in anticipation of receiving the product which was not to be rolled out until Pentecost, following the death of Jesus. Jesus was the first “authorized dealer” to offer these Kingdom products/services to the people of Israel. As he walked throughout the land giving hope to the hopeless, healing to the infirm and freedom for the captives, he demonstrated the power of this gospel product to bring great value to those who “bought into it.” Following his death and resurrection, Jesus’ recruiting strategy was to reveal himself not only to has closest associates, but to more than 500 other potential “dealers” (I Cor. 15:6). This recruitment thrust lasted for 40 days (Acts 1:3) before He returned to the warehouse where the Manufacturer had supplied sufficient quantities of stock. This original authorized dealer became the first DISTRIBUTOR of these Kingdom products. During his 40 day marketing strategy, he was able to provide infallible proofs of the life-giving power of his kingdom products/services. Back at his home office, he was able to connect with the MANUFACTURER who had a warehouse full of Kingdom products/services (gifts) to be distributed to those who had pre-ordered, as long as they had not canceled their orders. By the pouring out of his Holy Spirit, this DISTRIBUTOR was building his network of “authorized dealers” to represent his brand and provide support for these Kingdom products. He wanted world-wide coverage, thus he scattered these agents into all kinds of foreign markets. In fact, when his authorized dealers would not open up these new markets fast enough, this DISTRIBUTOR actually sent samples to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house. Then he sent his authorized dealer (Peter) to bring some information of the DISTRIBUTOR’S story – his “startup”. Peter had been with Jesus for three years during the startup phase, observing and learning from the business visionary. He even witnessed how the Founder of this “company” dealt with the competition who was very angry about losing “customers” and their market share. After all, the Pharisees loved the money (Luke 16:14)