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Know God in a Year #28 Change is Needed

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 a change in behavior.

They want change and John is preaching “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Is he announcing the Messiah? Is he the Messiah?

They believe that being descendants 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 and His ways written in their hearts.*

Right off, John confronts, not catering to 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–even hating Romans.

Kindness, honesty, respect from 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, “Messiah 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.** A new way of seeing hell?

Luke 3:7-18  *Ezekiel 36:26  **Hebrews 12:29,  2Thess. 2:8,  Malachi 3:17-4:3

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