John the Baptist

  1. In Isaiah we read about some of what we see in Matthew 3.
  2. Isaiah 40:3 says, ““The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”
  3. That verse is quoted in Matthew. John is the fulfilment of that. He literally was crying out in the wilderness. His job was to prepare the way for Jesus by making His paths straight.
  4. What did that look like?
  5. He was calling out, “Repent.”
  6. He warned people to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”
  7. What do those things mean?
  8. Repent literally means to change your mind.
  9. Whatever sin you are in, you need to change your thinking about it. You need to think: “I hate doing this because it’s an offense to a holy God and I’m choosing this sin over Him, meaning I am loving my sin and not God. I hate this sin because it has caused me to hate my God instead of love Him. I have gotten it all backwards. Lord, I hate this, please remove it from my life. Help me to love you with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, with everything I’ve got. Show me if there are other loves in my life. I want to love you alone.”
  10. The Pharisees needed to change their thinking about God and what He required. They needed to be willing to let go all their ideas of what God wanted and be willing to change their minds to match what Jesus would show them.
  11. To bear the fruit of repentance, means that something comes of it. You can’t just say, “Sorry, God,” and then keep in the same sin. That wasn’t repentance. If you really changed your mind, changed actions would follow. Changed actions would produce a changed outcome, fruit in keeping with repentance.
  12. For instance, if a tax collector repented of cheating people out of their money, he would stop doing it and return stolen money. That would be fruit of repentance.
  13. We can also hear Isaiah speaking God’s words during Jesus’ baptism, speaking of the Beloved, well-pleasing son, on whom He sends His Spirit. Listen to Isaiah 42:1. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him…”