Saturday, October 04, 2008

The King is Coming!

October 4: Matthew 3, Mark 1 & Luke 3



1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”



11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 3:1-2 & 11-12



4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Mark 1:4-8



15 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 with 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.”

Luke 3:15-17



The King is Coming!



Three of the four Gospels give us the account of the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist. What was John's purpose? Some of this gets a little lost on us in our day of modern communication where the news is sent out in a flash. In a matter of seconds just about the entire world can be accessed via the Internet. That, however, was not the way news traveled in the days of Christ.



Just as envoys of a king often rode in advance of him to announce his coming to the people, so that the people might be prepared when he arrived, John the Baptist served in much the same capacity for our Lord and King, Jesus Christ. John preached a message of repentance at a time when very little true repentance was seen.



Crowds came from everywhere to see this spectacle--a man clothed in camel's hair who ate locusts and wild honey. Who was he? Many speculated that perhaps he was the Messiah. John quickly dispelled that rumor.



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 with fire."



John never allowed any to glorify him; his message was always clearly presented. The One coming after him, who was mightier than he, would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The purpose of the Messiah was to separate the wheat from the chaff.



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.



That is still the only true message we must speak about Christ! Our Lord comes to separate the wheat from the tares--these are the only two classes of people.



As we go about our duties this day, and think of the lives of those we touch, it would be good to ask ourselves, Is the message I present of Christ that clear? Do I think and act in terms of black and white, but never gray?



It is an interesting point to ponder, is it not?



God Bless You,

Linda



All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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