2021_07_19 Insight Post- Kim Feld
This week's reading- Luke 3-4
Once again, Luke places the events of chapter 3 in historical context, showcasing his intent for writing a record set in time. These details give us a fantastic picture of how God is at work and in control of the events around us. History truly is “His story” – God is the author.
John the Baptist dramatically reappears on the scene. It’s interesting to note that John preached repentance for the Jews, and the sign of that repentance was baptism. The Jewish people would have been familiar with baptism as a ritual for purity, but baptism was also used for Gentiles converting to Judaism. So, the people coming for baptism are heeding John’s warning that God’s judgment of the people was coming, and they needed to repent of their sins and change the way they were living. Let’s read this passage, Luke 3:7-14, NLT and see how John answers their question, “What should we do?”
7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God [emphasis added]. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?”
11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry” [emphasis added].
12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires” [emphasis added].
14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers.
John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay” [emphasis added].
John certainly stirred things up in his day as the forerunner for Jesus, the Messiah. How do you think John’s message would be received today? I can think of some words that might be used. How do you think we should live out the gospel and impact our community and the world? The question that John’s followers asked applies to us today. We are to prove by the way we live that we have repented of our sins and turned to God so, what should we do?
Executive Director of Education and Outreach