Sunday, Apr. 2                                

Part of John the Baptist’s message to his people, the Jews, was that the kingdom was about to begin.  It’s interesting that the O.T. prophesies concerning John the Baptist said nothing about the kingdom.  John was to “prepare the way of the Lord.”  The focus is on the King, not the kingdom.  And that’s why the rest of his message called for repentance.  The Jews were not prepared to receive their King.  They knew the Messiah was to come and Israel would be a kingdom, and they thought they were ready for that.  After all, they were Jews, Israel itself.  The Jews would have bristled at John going to the Gentiles to give the same message, but it was totally baffling to them that he would call the Jews to repentance.  Repentance is a change in direction.  For the Jews it was to turn away from dependence on being a descendant of Abraham and their futile attempts to obey the Law.  Repentance by itself does not save anyone, but it opens the heart to a real solution to the sin problem.  Repentance would prepare them for their Messiah.  With all the false crutches taken away, they would hear and respond to Jesus’ message.  “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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