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#28 John’s Message

Why and how the people come to the wilderness to hear John the Baptizer is a mystery. Word of mouth, the times, and the Spirit are the draw to hear this startling preacher who confronts his audience with their need for righteousness.

They want change and John is preaching “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Is he the Messiah? They believe that being descendents of Abraham gives them the right to God’s favor and blessings.

But they ignore the conditions: a desire to belong to God, to have His desires, his ways written in their hearts.

Right off he confronts and alienates the priests, calling them snakes for their deception and entitlement. He calls them to give up their self-centeredness and pretense if they want to be part of Messiah’s kingdom.

He says everyone must stop the violence, cruelty, and hating.

Kindness, honesty, respect and love are God’s law–the desires He wants to put in them or they are not His children–not like Him. He cannot use them as representatives to show His character.

John calls them “chaff”–no substance, no virtue, combustible in the presence of fire. He says clearly, “I am not the Messiah. He is coming and will baptize you with fire.”

Fire assays–purges metal of impurities–shows its true character, purifies it. In fact, the energy of God’s presence not hidden in humanity would, and eventually will, consume the pretenders along with His enemies.* Perhaps a new way of seeing hell.

Luke 3:7-18   *Hebrews 12:29,  2Thess. 2:8,  Malachi 3:17-4:3

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