Following Jesus • 26 / What repentance looks like*

Read This: Matthew 3:7-10; Luke 3:7-14

Prophets were big news in Bible times. They spoke for God. If you wanted to hear God, you listened to His prophet. Since John was considered a prophet, people came from everywhere to hear him.

John’s message was clear — the way to God is through repentance. Not wealth or power or Jewish descent. Many accepted John’s message and were baptized to demonstrate their repentance (see Day 25).

Then the religious and political leaders got in line, but not to make peace with God through repentance. They had other motives, and John called them field snakes, slithering away from the flames as the farmers burned off their fields. Coming to God hinges on repentance. It’s not made possible by our achievements, and it doesn’t mean having Abraham as an ancestor. It means surrendering to God. Making peace with Him on His terms.

What are His terms? Admitting that we can’t save ourselves. Our goodness isn’t good enough. Thankfully, He is merciful and loving. He knows we can’t be perfect, so He sent His Son to be perfect in our place. Our part is to turn from self-centeredness and learn to love as He does. Sharing with those in need. Refusing to cheat, steal, and violate others. Loving others as God loves us. That’s what John explained to those who came to hear from God.

And those who didn’t wish to hear from God apparently got their wish.

*Click here for Days 1-25

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