Text: Matthew 3 (Genesis 5-6)
In Matthew 3 we read that John the Baptist is the one one prophesied by Isaiah who comes to “prepare the way of the Lord.” John’s message is one of repentance, as is his water baptism. When Jesus arrives in our lives, our hearts need to be prepared, and the ready heart is one that understands the need for a change. Jesus brings change – big change. Matthew 3:11-12 bring us John the Baptist’s words about this:
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
John’s baptism is me saying I commit to live better. Jesus in my life is the Lord moving in (the Holy Spirit) and remodeling all of my life (fire). Jesus will winnow and the chaff will burn. The Spirit is alive, and brings a living relationship with a living God. Fire burns, refines, destroys that which is not of the Lord, and brings forth beauty and purity. And all of that means that the life of the Christian is never settled, never static, never stagnant. We can expect and should welcome newness of life, constant change and the discomfort of the fire. And when Jesus removes the chaff, we can expect to experience loss. But, it is all good, it all brings Him glory, and it brings us joy and ultimately, peace.
in Him, Mike