The Gospels in 40 days Matthew 3

Matthew 3

We'll find out more about John the Baptist in other Gospels. Here he has a simple, stern message:

"Repent for the Kingdom of God is near."

As he washes people of their sin, he's clear that going through the motions is not enough - his harsh words for the Pharisees are recorded for us to hear - "Seriously! Stop sinning! God's not going to be fooled!"

John anticipates that Jesus will come on the scene with 'guns blazing' yet when he appears he meekly submits to baptism.

"Wait," says John, "You should be baptising me!"

John knows that Jesus doesn't need washing from sin. Yet Jesus, maybe not so meekly, gives an order to John, "Let it be so."

Now I could be corrected on this, but Jesus isn't just putting on a show here. He actually does repent. In fact he is the most repentant person to ever live. You see Jesus was tempted like we are - tempted to do his own thing, seek his own pleasures. but instead of doing his own will, he turns from it, and EVERY TIME he does his Father's will instead. Foolishly, we repent after we've already sinned. Jesus repented first, and kept from sinning entirely.

John was stern and demanding, and he expected Jesus to be even more so. But Surprise! Jesus' demands are not burdens, instead they are freedom from sin's bondage, and the path to life. It turns out that God is not waiting to smite us, but take the weight of sin off our shoulders, and lead us into the joy and peace of his Holy love.

Lord, thank you for leading the way and teaching us how to turn from the foolishness of sin to the lovely will of our Heavenly Father.