Day 3 | Luke 3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Luke 3:3, NASB)
John the Baptist was a prophet sent to “prepare the way of the Lord.” He was the voice crying out in the wilderness, so that people would “see the salvation of God.” The message he declared, “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” the rule and reign of God was breaking in at last, and this meant that every person needed to respond by repenting, that is turning from their old ways of thinking, doing and being, and be submerged once again into the Jordan river to demonstrate that they were now members of this renewed Kingdom. The people could no longer say they were children of Abraham, but they had to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” When they asked what this meant John told them to share with those who are in need, whether it be food or clothing. If you are in business, like the tax collectors, don’t cheat the people for more than they owe. If you have power over others, like the soldiers, don’t exploit those who are under you!
From the beginning the Kingdom of God requires us to reevaluate our priorities. The world would say get as much as you can, take more than you need, and any chance you have to leapfrog over your neighbor, and get ahead of them, do it! Why, because in the Kingdom of the world, it is all about me and mine. If I am not looking after me, who else will? We have to constantly resist the temptation to fall into the rhythms of the world, and carve out intentional ways to stay in step with the way of the Kingdom. John was laying down the road for Jesus to come, and that meant turning away from how others would tell us to live, and start asking, “How would God tell me to treat my neighbor, from the greatest to the least of these?”
This week investigate some opportunities in how you can serve the poor and those in need in our community.