Luke 3:15-20 “One Who Is Greater”
Last week we looked at the nature of repentance in the message of John. How repentance is yielding to the plow of God’s word that is preparing the soil of our hearts to bear fruit.
Lets read this text and see what happens next.
So, what is going on next in this story is that John is bringing this message of repentance to the people and many are beginning to wonder if he is the promised messiah. It says that the people were in expectation. This is important and this is a good thing. We are wired to worship, we are wired to seek a savior. So the expectation of these people was in line with their God given desires for a savior, as well as their understanding of the OT prophesies about the coming messiah. This tendency continues today as person after person is placed on a pedestal and elevated to a level that is beyond their capability. There is a natural tendency that we have to put a gifted speaker, or leader in the place of a God. That is what was beginning to happen with John, people were wondering if he was the messiah. This is a dangerous place to be. Take some time and think through history at how many people have been placed on a pedestal and have risen to the ranks of leadership bad began to believe their own hype. Hitler, Stalin, Saddam and many others have all been portrayed in their times as saviors for their nation or their cause. They have believed their own hype and we never able to deliver. But before they could jump to that conclusion, John sets the record straight. He does this amazingly humble thing and states that he is not the messiah and that there was coming someone after him whose sandals John was not fit to untie. Basically saying he was not worthy to be the lowest servant in this man’s household.
Then he lays out just how he is different from the real Messiah. He says, I baptize with water, but the one that comes after me will baptize with the Holt Spirit and with Fire. this indicates that John’s baptism was different than Jesus’. That the baptism in water is not unimportant, but that it merely represents the baptism that comes through the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer…
What John was there to do: prepare the way by calling for repentance.
What Jesus is going to: Grant the possibility for true repentance by giving his life as a ransom.
Baptize with Holy Spirit and fire: To baptize is to immerse into something, usually water, which is what John was doing. Johns baptism was symbolic, much like when we baptize in water. The power to change someone does not lie in the water, or in the act of baptism. The power to change is from the Holy Spirit doing an work of regeneration in your heart. This word about jesus’ work came into fruition at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was revealed to the disciples and they were given power to preach the good news. The fire,
Gather the wheat: The imagery of the winnowing fork was one that would have been very clearly understood. A winnowing for was used to throw grain in the air, and the husks of the wheat would float away because they were light, and the grains would fall back to the floor. Jesus, according to John is coming to sift the grain to see what is wheat and what is chaff. His goal is to gather the wheat, because it is fruitful, it had yielded fruit in keeping with repentance.
Burn The Chaff: In the time when wheat and chaff were separated, the chaff was used to fuel the fire. This is different from an inclusive, everyone get saved, we are all on different paths up the same mountain kind of message.
This is called good news. Why do you think that is? Because God’s gonna give those wicked people whats coming to them? Or maybe because we are all chaff, and we can only be made into wheat through Jesus.