Matthew 3: 1-12v 11 “ I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am- so much greater that I am not worthy even to be His slave and carry His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
In this passage we meet at least two distinct people, John and “the one who is greater than I.” There are also two generalize groups, the first people from Jerusalem, all over Judea and the Jordan Valley. The second the Pharisees and Sadducees, learned leaders of the Jewish faith.
John identified by where he lives, in the wilderness, what he eats, locusts and honey, and what he wears, coarse camel hair and a leather belt. He had a strong message to deliver to these two groups who were listening to his lecture. Confess or repent of their sins and prove it by the way that they live. “Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
We also learn of someone who is coming. He will baptize you with fire. He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat. He will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into His barn. The chaff will be burnt.
I remember my mom coming home from a Christmas party with most people from the business world in which my dad worked. She was very cross with him as she had worn casual pants and a shirt, and all the other ladies had worn more formal dresses. I too remember being at a retreat day for the hospital I was working for. Knowing the head of the hospital and the senior management team would be there I had dressed more formally even though it was a Saturday. The senior management team all came in their golf shirts and more casual attire, so I quickly removed my jacket for the day. What we wear and how we live speaks volumes to others about who we are. What we say is important and how we interact with each other. Sometimes we water down the key messages of our faith instead of lighting them on fire. You might wear a crazy Christmas sweater, or pants covered in Christmas trees but make sure to mention today that Christ is our savior. He was born surrounded by mysterious events with angels and King and gifts extraordinaire. Believing in Him has changed my personal identity, how about you?
Prayer: Almighty God thank you for sending your son Jesus to be a savior to all and for the people around us whose wise words and actions continue to shape us into who you want us to be. Amen.
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