Friday, September 28, 2012

Matthew 3:1-12 John's message.

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”
John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Just a thought...
The visualization of John is such a vivid one. It certainly grabs your attention. Once John gets our attention his message is even more important. John is telling us that God is about to do something wonderful. God wants us facing in the right direction when it happens. The call for us to repent is a call to examine which direction we are facing, and where we are traveling. He announces that the kingdom of heaven is near, that God is near. God is breaking into our world. John is announcing that that God’s kingdom on earth is coming. That death shall give way to life. That sin shall give way to righteousness. Individual righteousness is a requirement of the kingdom, making repentance a necessary preparation for participation in the kingdom. Repentance affords one the opportunity to be part of the kingdom. By repenting we become the people God wanted us to be when we were first created. This brings our journey together with God. This is the  “good news” journey for everyone to share. A journey that never ends but leads to eternal life!
Dear Lord, As we journey through this life let us repent and share Your "good news" with all we meet. Amen

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