· Luke is very specific about the setting and time that John began preaching.
· John’s message was focused on repentance and forgiveness of sins
· Luke quotes Isaiah 40:3-5
· The prophecy seems to focus on preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah
· The prophecy also seems to focus on the salvation of mankind.
· People were coming out to the desert to be baptized
· John warns them that to just go through the motions is not enough. They are as bad as vipers and thus must follow through with their commitment of baptism and actually produce fruit.
· It is not enough to be in a family that “believes in God,” each individual must choose to follow God on their own.
· The crowds were convicted and asked what they should do so that they would not be cut off from God.
· John answers that they should share with their extra poor, be honest, do not take advantage of their position, and be content with what they have.
· Many different types of people were responding from the average person, tax, collectors, soldiers, and business people.
· Some wondered who John was and even suspected he was the Messiah.
· John states that the Messiah is to come and will bring with him the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
· John uses a farming illustration to say that this Messiah will also test people’s hearts and separate the real follows of God from the false.
· John preached repentance including pointing out the sin of a powerful governor, Herod.
· Herod added to his sins by locking John up.
· Before John was locked up he baptized Jesus
· When Jesus was baptized heaven was opened up and the Holy Spirit descended upon him and the voice of the Father spoke (all three persons of God manifested differently).
· The Father spoke of the Son that He was “well pleased.” There was no fault found in the Son.
· Jesus was about thirty when he was baptized and began his public ministry
· Jesus earthly father (not physically, but adoptive) was Joseph
· Joseph was a direct descendant of David, a descendant of Adam, who was created by –son of- God (all things that were required to be fulfilled of the Messiah).
The heart of John’s message was that the people needed to acknowledge they were sinners and make a choice to turn away from those sins. The coming Messiah was going to separate those who just gave lip service to change from those who really desired to change. He was also going to give those who really desired change the Holy Spirit to help them change. The promised Messiah was coming to bring salvation, and the result of that salvation was a people who lived fruitful lives.
John is preparing the way not just for the King but for His kingdom. In this kingdom, the people of the king share, are honest, and live simple contented lives. I am challenged to evaluate my own life. Am I a resident of this kingdom? Do I actively look for those who have little to share my much with? Do I give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay? Am I content with what I have or am I preoccupied with getting more?
I am convicted. God has grown me much in these areas, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I do not want my life’s work to go up in smoke. I want the way I live now to extend well into eternity. I need to continue to shift my life’s center from being a consumer to being a conduit for God’s blessings. In this I will be a better subject in God’s kingdom, and I will store up treasure where moth and rust will not destroy.
Matthew 6:19-21 19"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (NLT)
Father in heaven,
Forgive me for having my eye more on building my kingdom rather than building yours. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for making a way from the very beginning that I might be restored to you, and live as a favored child in your kingdom. Help me make decisions today that will be reflect you and your values. Would you put someone in my path today that I can share with? Give me your strength that I might not shy away from sharing with them. Help me not be distracted by what I want and dream to have, but keep my eyes on what you want and how I can serve you.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen
Posted on Mon, January 5, 2015
by joel king