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Wednesday: Turning Hearts at the Jordan — 2 Comments

  1. John the Baptist preached a message of repentance as a preparation for the coming Messiah. Luke 3 provides an interesting insight into what he meant by repentance:

    And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ Luke 3:8

    The idea that you are ok because you are in the club simply does not work. You cannot hide under the umbrella of belonging to the right family. Repentance has to be personal. John expanded on the idea of how repentance should be carried out:

    And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:10-14

    This was not rocket-science theology. The call to repentance was a call to think of others rather than self.

    I wonder if that is the reason that our next series of lessons is entitled, "The Least of These ...". Maybe we have been concentrating on getting belief and identity right at the expense of those who are least among us.

  2. The message is one of turning minds and hearts to God. This is the best preparation and end time message for people to stand in the great and dreadful day of the Lord. John preached a message that was to reach people's hearts, and work a change in them.
    A membership card, whether to an ethnic group or to a church is not the ticket to eternal salvation. Mere outward credentials won't do it. Hearts need to be turned.
    The message was to repent and return to God. The fathers and children, as well as mothers, young and old, in a unity of love and harmony turn unto the Lord.
    No one can expect to escape the sure result of the broken law, which is eternal death, nor expect to enjoy the happiness of eternal redemption, unless their hearts are turned from sin and the world, to Christ and holiness.

    Psalms 23:3 He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.


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