#DailyDevotion The Baptist Preaches The Good News
Luk 3:15-20 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, (16) John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (17) His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” (18) So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. (19) But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, (20) added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.
The Lord God had been quiet to Judah for centuries now. There had not been a prophet. But the times were such, much like today, the people were expecting the Lord’s anointed to come on the scene. There had been a number of attempts of people claiming to be the messiah but those had failed. Now John was on the scene. He looked like a prophet. He certainly sounded like a prophet. Perhaps he was the anointed one, the messiah of God.
But John would have none of it. He would tell them that he
is not the Christ. His message concerning himself and the Christ was, “I
baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of
whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy
Spirit and fire. (17) His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear
his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he
will burn with unquenchable fire.” John did not see himself worthy to
untie the Christ’s the Messiah’s sandal. But they were looking at the right
time. John was proclaiming the time for the Messiah was near. He was coming to
baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. And in prophetic fashion he said it
again with a parallel saying, he would be gathering the wheat into the barn and
burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.
The Holy Spirit would be gathering those who
belonged to the Messiah through baptism and the preaching of the good news.
Through baptism he would be putting his name on those who would be saved and be
giving them the Holy Spirit. Through the preaching of the good news the Holy
Spirit would be gathering and bringing people to be baptized into his name. The
good news up to this point was baptism for repentance and the forgiveness of
sins and the Messiah was near. For us similarly, the Messiah has come and his
name is Jesus of Nazareth. He has commanded baptism in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit for repentance and the forgiveness of
sins. He has called and gathered you and he continues to call and gather his
people into his kingdom. This is free gift of God.
But for those who will not believe the good news and for those who reject being baptized into Christ Jesus, on the Last Day, the Lord will send his angels to gather up all those wicked people and cast them into the Lake of Fire. Then he will send his angels to gather his people into his eternal kingdom. So be repentant. Cast away your former life of sin. Believe on Jesus Christ and be baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit and do the good the Lord our God and Father would have you to do.
Heavenly Father, give us ears that listen to your Word even as people listened to John and submitted to his baptism. Grant us faith and your Holy Spirit that we may live repentant lives turning away from sin and turning towards the light of Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.