Make Room For Christ, by Repentance
Luke 3:2-6 “…the word of God came unto John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
And he came into all the country about Jordon, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah 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.”
Baptism was done to proselytes (Gentiles who wanted to be admitted into the worship of God). Then they could go into the Temple. (There was a court of the Gentiles)
But here, John the Baptist comes to Israel, God’s chosen people; and preaches repentance from their sins, as he was told to do…..by baptism.
Prepare yourselves: for the Lord is coming.
If you want to be in the kingdom of God, prepare your hearts by repentance, and bring forth fruit in your life that shows that you have repented.
Luke 3:8-9 “Bring forth therefore fruits 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 tree: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn (cut) down, and cast into the fire.”
“Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” But how? Bring all who would hear, to the place that they know that the Christ is coming to set all things in order…..
Malachi 4:4-6 “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant….
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
“To turn the hearts”…..that is repentance. To remember who we are….the called of the Lord,….and what should first….in our lives.
Luke 3:10-11 “And the people asked him, saying, 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.”
These were simple things which were written in the Law. But the poor state of most of the people, had caused them to think only of themselves.
Luke 3:12-13 “Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
And he said unto them, Exact no more then that which is appointed you.”
Publicans were tax collectors, and were most often cheats.
They demanded extra taxes to be paid, and kept the extra. The people could not say anything about it, for they were under the authority of Rome.
Luke 3:14 “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.”
Again, these would have been things which were written in the Law. Things which they should have already been doing.
But everyone had stopped paying any attention to God’s Word: going, instead, after their own way, or the way of the times (everyone else is doing it, so I can too.).
The “valleys to be filled”, were those who had given up: depressed, despondent; they were to be given joy in the Lord.
The mountains and hills to be “brought low”, were the proud and rich, with the attitude of piling up riches, to gain power or influence. Not caring about their responsibility in caring for their brethren. They were to come to a new understanding about mercy. (Matthew 9:11-13)
The “crooked” were the flagrant sinners; those who everyone knew to be sinners.
They were to be saved and “sin no more”. (John 8:11)
The “rough ways” were the practices of the scribes and Pharisees, which instructed the people in the traditions; yet did not practice them, themselves.
All needed repentance. To change their hearts and lives. To live according to the Word they had already received. To make room for Christ.
Isaiah said, “…make straight in the desert a highway for our God….And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh see it together ; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
A highway is a road built up; set up above the ground around. It is a road that all can see, for it is higher than the fields and streams.
John the Baptist came building up a way that all could see and follow.
It would be straight;….and all who would repent and come,….could walk in it.
Isaiah 35:8 “And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”
“Wayfaring men” are those whose whole lives are moving from one thing to another. Yet even though they are just passing by, they will know God’s Will for them.
John the Baptist came preaching and baptizing all who wanted to have the reality of true worship of the Lord.
The people who knew they were not right, and wanted to be. Maybe they were called the “down-and-out”……
Maybe they were so far from God, they thought they would never be able to come back…..
But John preached to all: and whosoever will, may come.
Then Jesus came.
“And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
John 1:29 “The next day John seeing Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!”
Matthew 3:16-17 “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lightening upon Him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
He was the Son of God, having come to take away the sins of the world.
And when He had done that by the sacrifice of Himself, and after His resurrection:…..the message to all His disciples was:
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”
May I ask you: what will we do with His Word?