Joshua 22-24 Luke 3
“The people asked John, ‘Then what should we do?’ John answered, ‘If you have two shirts, share with the person who does not have one. If you have food, share that also.’” (Luke 3:10-11)
John’s message of repentance struck a nerve with the people living in Israel. People of all types flocked to see and hear him. While John was not seeker friendly, many made sacrifices to go down to the Jordan to seek him out. Perhaps they were looking for the Messiah, and they thought that someone who preached like he did must be the Messiah. John let them know that while he wasn’t the Messiah, the Messiah was coming. As the people were convicted that they needed change, they asked John how they should respond. John spoke of respect and common decency. If you have what someone else needs, share with them. He told tax collectors only to collect what they were supposed to. Soldiers got the message that they should do their job with integrity – not lying about others nor extorting them for bribes. In short, the message of John focused on respecting and caring for others.
It’s interesting that even soldiers came to listen to John. Religious leaders, common people, tax collectors, and soldiers all were convicted by his preaching and sought change. OK, maybe the religious leaders weren’t convicted because they were the leaders after all, and they didn’t need to change. Yes, that last sentence was sarcastic. To those in government (soldiers and tax collectors) his message was clear: do your job and don’t profit by abusing the people you deal with. The message to the ordinary people was simple: respect other people and share with those in need. Perhaps the biggest secret of Christianity is that it “works” under any governmental structure. If we respect each other, if we do our jobs and don’t profit by abusing the people we deal with, and if those who have share with those who don’t, we will meet people’s physical needs and be able to share the good news of Jesus to meet their spiritual needs. We shouldn’t depend on the government to spread the gospel. We shouldn’t expect the government to do our job. Today, find a way to show respect for others and to share with those in physical and spiritual need. You don’t think God has blessed you so much for you to keep it all, do you?
Lord, remind me that any blessing I get is far more than I deserve. Help me to share with others and meet their physical needs as well as showing them how You can meet their spiritual needs.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.