December 13, 2018
“He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.”
• prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action
• prepared for immediate use
• willingly disposed
• likely to do something indicated
• displayed readily and spontaneously
• immediately available
Today, we read about John, son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. He was born and lived to prepare the way for the Messiah. He was a devoted Jew and followed strict practices. John was considered a prophet, not a priest like his father. John had a strict adherence to Jewish purity laws and ascetic conduct of a Nazirite, a Jew especially vowed to God’s service.
[Nazirite, (from Hebrew nazar, “to abstain from,” or “to consecrate oneself to”), among the ancient Hebrews, a sacred person whose separation was most commonly marked by his uncut hair and his abstinence from wine. Originally, the Nazirite was endowed with special charismatic gifts and normally held his status for life. Later, the term was applied to a man who had voluntarily vowed to undertake special religious observances for a limited period of time, the completion of which was marked by the presentation of offerings (Numbers 6; 1 Maccabees 3:49; Acts 21:24).]
John’s message and interest was to prepare/tell people of the coming of the Messiah. It was interested in the commitment of people to their faith and in the action of their faith. He told people if they had 2 coats, give one away to someone in need. He told the soldiers to be satisfied with their pay and not to extort money from people or make threats to them for their own gain or pleasure. To the tax collectors, he said do not collect more than that which is owed. To believers, he preached total commitment, urged them to not just go through the motions, if you are a believer then your actions would speak for you. He encouraged compassion for others, and to share one’s abundance.
In verses, 7-9 and 17 John talks about good and bad trees, cutting the ones down that do not bear fruit and throw them into the fire. He also talks of clearing the threshing floor, gathering wheat and putting the chaff in the unquenchable fire. These metaphorical to the Christian life and eternal life. When we live and practice our faith through the way we live and it’s pleasing to God, we are fruitful! At judgment, if we have fought the good fight, and lived a commitment life for God, we will be the grain and not the chaff. *See references for more scripture verses for bearing fruit, grains and chaff.
In verse 15, the crowds are wondering if John was in fact the Messiah, he quickly tells them he is not! He tells the crowds that he baptizes with water, but the one coming is greater than he is and that he will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.
John was ready to make a path for Jesus.
John, preached to the crowds to be ready for the Messiah.
John was ready to make a way for the Messiah and to present Jesus, the Messiah to everyone.
Are you READY?
Prayer: Lord, challenge me into being a true disciple for you. Amen.
~Peace and Blessings~