Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Luke 3:2-6
Today we take a look at the ministry of John the Baptist, as we discussed earlier John the Baptist was the fulfillment of the coming of Elijah. This was affirmed by Jesus himself (Matthew 17:12) and now we see the fulfillment of Isaiah prophecy (Isaiah 40) as the messenger who will prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah
Now John’s ministry was not a watered down, sugar coated ministry we see mostly today, John preached the requirement of repentance and baptism. Prepare for the coming of Jesus by turning away from your sin with Godly sorrow. John also taught the importance of making a public profession of your faith through baptism. Hence why John was known as the Baptiser.
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? Luke 3:7-10
John called out the religious leaders and the corruption of their religious system. You see, Jesus is not about a religion, Jesus is about having a personal relationship with God. John also pointed out that salvation doesn’t come from being a Jew, it comes from Christ alone!
So what happens to those who reject Jesus? As John states “every tree that doesn’t produce fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire (Hell)” The peoples response was “What shall we do then”?
He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. Luke 3:11-14
So you might ask “What is the fruits of repentance, that John was referring to earlier” The fruits are to live like Christ, because he loved us first! Saying your a Christian is not just a statement, its a lifestyle, its a way of life. John the Baptist was like a farmer, tilling the ground and sowing the seed of God. This was his purpose to prepare people for Jesus Christ!
Are you ready? Have you received Jesus Christ yet? Have you repented of your sin and been baptised? Prepare for the return of Christ, because He is coming in the clouds soon Amen!