A new baby…a new job…a bereavement…marriage…a difficult diagnosis…an unexpected inheritance…redundancy…divorce… Suddenly life will never be the same again.
Like the message John the Baptist was bringing. A new period in the history of mankind was about to unfold. Life was about to change for everyone, and they needed to get ready (Matthew 3:6-10). Most people that came by wanted to change for the better. They recognised the imperfections of the life they were living, and wanted to put it behind them. They confessed their sins, and chose to be immersed in water to demonstrate their new start. They wanted to be ready for what God was doing.
When the Pharisees and Sadducees came by, it was a different story. These people had set themselves apart, believing they were better than everyone else. They hadn’t come to repent – they had nothing to repent of! For centuries, they had ruled the roost, but John warned them that their way of life was on its way out; and in fact the whole of society as they knew it would be gone within about forty years. Survival into the future would not be determined by tradition, but by living a life that showed they had allowed God to change them.
Change is a fact of life. None of us find it easy; and as we hear the news of what is going on in the world, we can shudder at the thought of what tomorrow’s world will look like. How to cope? John said that the trees bearing good fruit would be the ones to survive. And thinking about it, good fruit contains good seed, that continues the life long after its parent tree has gone. Whatever is going on in the world around me, I need to keep bearing good fruit. Fruit in keeping with repentance. And I need to keep trusting Jesus, the one John was speaking of that was going to bring so much change.
Changes will come, whether we like them or not. Our security is not in tradition, or history, or where or who we were born, or how rich or influential we are. Our security can only ever be in Jesus, the one who promised never to leave us or forsake us, but to stay with us even unto the end of the world.