Day 16: Faithful Waiting
Scripture to meditate on: Matthew 3:1-12 John the Baptist’s Message of Repentance
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Enter John the Baptist, calling all who would listen to be ready and prepare for the coming of the Lord. Crowds were drawn to him due to his authenticity and his words. He emphasized confession, repentance and baptism — turning away from their former ways.
John’s mission went beyond ritualistic practices as he stressed the transformative power of inner change. In his message, baptism becomes a symbolic act representing purification and the initiation of a new life. The symbolism signifying a departure from relying on solely on lineage and showing the importance of a heart transformed by repentance. He challenged them to examine their live and to become sincerely ready for the Messiah’s imminent arrival.
It prompts us to reflect on our own spiritual well-being and readiness. Are we adequately prepared, fully ready, and wholly receptive to the transformative power of Christ in our lives? John’s unwavering call to repentance invites us to scrutinize our hearts, discard old patterns, and embrace the profound change that accompanies genuine readiness ofr the One who brings lasting transformation.
Questions to ponder:
- What does this passage say about God?
- What does this passage say about me or my relationships?
- What should I do in light of this passage?