Luke 3:7-14 “Preparing the way, Tilling the Soil”
First of all, I want to thank Chris for bringing the word last Sunday. If you were here, he spoke of John the Baptist’s call in the wilderness and how we are all called of God to make a difference.
Today we are going to look at how John followed the call of God to prepare the way of the Lord.
Before we get into it, let me ask you a couple questions. Lets say for a moment you were a farmer and you wanted to plant some fruit trees. You wanted to plant some grape vines and some banana trees, and maybe a watermelon vine. Your end game is to harvest fruit. What is the first step in the process to plant your fruit? The first step to plant anything is to prepare the soil to receive the seeds. If you do not prepare the soil properly, you will not have a harvest.
What we are going to see today is that God sent John the baptist as a plow for the soil of His people’s hearts.
After John gets called in the wilderness and begins preaching baptism for the forgiveness of sins people begin to come to hear him and be baptized by him. Now, as we look through this, I want us to look at it through a couple lenses. One is with modern church marketing practices in mind. Another is with our own personal lives in view.
The message of Repentance is the blade of the plow in the soil of your heart. It Is sharp, it has power, and the earth must yield to it to be fruitful.
John’s Message of repentance:
Offensive: These crowds were coming to John to receive his message, and he called them a brood of vipers. This was an offensive and anti intuitive way to build a following. “Ok guys, we are going to start this movement, and here is how were are going to do it, we are going to insult people. Im going to call them a rood of vipers. They will love that. We are going to kill it out there” If you want to be fruitful in life, you must be ok with being offended by the truth of who you are. Because wrath is real, and it is better to be offended and softened, than to be bottled and face wrath. The blade of the plow must be sharp to get through the hard soil.
Personal: Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our Father”
Has visible results: Each person had a different application depending on his or her position.
Why it mattered to Theophilus: The preparation of every person’s heart to receive Jesus is to be confronted with their sin. Sin is the evidence of our nature, and Repentance is the means by which our nature is changed. Repentance is yielding to God’s revealed will and changing your actions to be in line with his desires.
Why it matters to us: Because the message we receive and the one we proclaim is the same, Repent and turn to Jesus. If someone is teaching or preaching about Jesus, and does not speak of sin and repentance, they are not preaching the gospel. They are neglecting wrath so as not to offend anyone, and in turn sending people to face God’s wrath without the covering of Jesus’s righteousness, because if the ax is at the root of the trees with no fruit and if you do not receive the plow of truth and respond in repentance, you will not bear fruit. If you are told that your are perfect soil just the way you are, and that you just need to change your perspective on soil, you will not bear fruit. but, if you allow the blade of the plow to plunge deep into your heart and turn over the brokenness and the sin, and confess that to the Lord, and turn from it, you will see your need for a savior and cling to the only one who can bear fruit through you, because He took the wrath that you deserved…