Numbers 26:52-28:15; Luke 3:1-22; Psalm 61:1-8; Proverbs 11:16-17
“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (Roman Emperor)…during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiphas (members of powerful Jewish family of priests) the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” Luke 3:1-2
The word of God did NOT come to the most powerful, learned, wealthy, influential, politically astute men of the day, but to a desert dweller name John.
John took God’s word to the people who came out to the desert to hear what God had to say to them. John spoke about a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” vs. 7. It was a baptism for those who were truly sorry for their sins.
Among John’s listeners must have been some ‘temple people’. John had harsh words for them “You brood of vipers!” (offspring of venomous snakes!)
…’and don’t think that because of your family name you have no need of repentance. You are no better than the Roman soldiers standing next to you…or the tax collectors…or the ladies of the night..God knows your hearts! Repent–and let your lives show radical repentance!’
True repentance is truly radical!
‘Share with those in need…don’t cheat…don’t extort money…don’t lord your position over others…’
Radical repentance opens our hearts to Jesus’ reign. “If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.” 1John 1:9
Lord God, search our hearts and shine the light of your truth- – exposing those sins we need to confess before you and receive your cleansing forgiveness. May our lives bear the fruit of repentance–that we who have confessed and been forgiven can live holy–set apart–lives. May we speak honestly, act justly, and love wholeheartedly. May we live like Jesus. In His Name we pray, Amen
“And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” –Isaiah