Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The Raw Message of John the Baptist
I must begin by saying that this whole chapter is really cool. It has some really cool thoughts but something really peaked my interest. There is a very important message that John the Baptist tries to say. His whole ministry was to prepare that way for Jesus Christ, but he was also called to preach. He actually was a tool to help people get forgiveness. Actually, he taught people how to be forgiven. He taught the meaning of repentance.
When John came out to baptize, many people followed him in order to be baptized. One really cool quality about John was that he told it how he saw it. He spoke his mind and was not afraid to tell the truth. In verse 7 he calls everyone in the crown a “bunch of snakes”. That is like teling people that they are stupid, ignorant, deceptive, etc. That was harsh in those days; however, this is where the message lies. “Do something to show that you really have given up your sins. Don’t start saying that you belong to Abraham’s family. God can turn these stones into children for Abraham.” (vs 8) See this is a very intense statement that can be applied to all Christians everywhere. In those days, everyone was staggering to the title of being a child of Abraham. If you were, that meant you were God’s chosen people. If you were not, then you were outside of God and you were not favored. Kind of sounds harsh huh?
The first part of the verse is really where you find the essence of John’s message. Baptizim was a sign of repentance. It was the sign of forgiveness of your sins. Repentance means turning away and in the Christian sense it means turning from your sin. “Do something to show that you really have given up your sins…” So many times in our lives, at least in mine, we do something stupid. Yet so many times we say something like “God please forgive me”, yet we do it again and again. John is saying that there needs to be some sort of change in our lives after we repent. We should be acting something out. Of course we will constantly stumble but maybe it will be less and less severe. For example, you have a major issue with lying. Maybe after repenting you put in the effort to lie less and less. Eventually, the lies are not severe and you realize you are telling the truth more; consequently, you are becoming more honest.
John the Baptist warns us about not truly repenting. He warns us about not acting. If you are a Christian, you are a child of God; however, God is so magnificent that he can make the stones his children. We need to stop just saying sorry and really turn from our sin. We need to show God that we are serious. Maybe you need to be more charitable, or maybe your eyes and heart need to be more pure. You know your flaws, stop saying sorry and start acting. God loves you so much and he wants you to become more like him. This is my challenge for you today.
Read the chapter, it is pretty cool. Another cool thing is it goes into Jesus’s lineage. That brings some more food for thought.