from Lynda Lindsey
The word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Luke 3:2(b)-3
And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” Luke 3:10-12
As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ…Luke 3:15
The Word of God came to John and he began his ministry by proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John, like the former prophet Isaiah, was a voice crying in the wilderness of sin, warning that repentance is necessary in the face of future judgment. Jesus, the long promised and long awaited Messiah, is among His people; He is coming to save. Prepare. Get ready. Confront sin. Remove obstacles from hearts and minds, confront haughty attitudes; replace crooked, underhanded practices with good deeds in keeping with repentance.
Salvation will come, but only to repentant hearts. All people, Jews and Gentiles, will see the salvation of a righteous and holy God. The most important question of any age is then, “What shall we do?” Follow the advice of God’s prophets. Prepare and be ready. Confront and remove all obstacles and hindrances. Turn to the Lord and away from sin. Confess. Bear fruit in keeping with repentance, in keeping with our new identity in Christ. Share. Share clothing, food, and possessions with those who have nothing. Be fair, just, and honest. Practice being content with what you have.
People were expectantly and deeply questioning John’s words, wondering in the depth of their hearts, if John was the Messiah. John, comfortable in his established God-given role, exemplifies great contentment. John elevates Christ to His proper place, while continuing to exhort everyone to be ready to receive Christ and Christ’s purifying baptism. What shall we do? Like John, proclaim and elevate Christ to His proper place, invite others to be ready for the Lord’s salvation, and humbly continue to do all the good we can, bearing fruit in keeping with repentance.