Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Luke 3 -- Kingdom of Justice

For the first time in the Gospel of Luke we get a close interaction with John the who baptizes. He is called by God to prepare the people for the coming Christ. In actuality the Christ is already on the earth, but the true mission is about to kick in. I like John, he is bold, he is rugged, and he is willing to put it out there for people.

We find John calling people to repentance, to turn around their lives and follow God. His challenge, often missed, is to not only be changed by words but to be transformed by our actions. The charge in verse 8 is to "produce fruit in keeping with repentance." This is a call to do more than attend church, this is a call to do more than simply live a good live. This is a call to live like members of the Kingdom of God. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide for the poor, the widow and the orphan. In the kingdom John is calling us to, god's kingdom, is one where people are not property, and every human life is worth full value because they are a creation of God.

John was a quirky man in the wilderness telling others to get ready for what God was doing. He understood he was just a messenger, the true revelation of God was not in him, but in Jesus. Jesus was baptized and his mission on earth began. That mission was not primarily about salvation, but about how we live. Are we living the transformed life or are we a group of religious people who talk a good game and do nothing?

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