8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?”
11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.”
14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”
John is powerfully exhorting the people about ‘keeping with repentance’. He speaks to them about bearing ‘fruits worthy of repentance’.
What are these ‘fruits worthy of Repentance’?
We may not follow the term completely on first go. So did the people who heard him!
Now three groups of people are approaching John separately with questions about what to do in order to bear these ‘fruits’.
2. Tax collectors
In life we may also seek ‘separate solutions’ or answers to our ‘specific’ queries. Here, John answered all the three groups separately relating to their circumstance.
To the crowd:
‘give to him who has none’
To the tax collector:
‘Collect no more than what is appointed for you.’
To the soldier:
‘Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.’
Are we bearing ‘fruits worthy of repentance’?
Joining the crowd before John, let us ask ourselves:
❔Do we give to him who has none?
Joining the group of people who handle money, let us ask:
❔Do we collect more than what has been ordered?
As soldiers of Christ:
❔Do we take money from anyone by force? Do we accuse falsely? Are we content with our wages?
Ask ourselves these questions and also ask God for a ‘separate solution’ to our own ‘specific’ situations. Allow the holy spirit to speak to us and make the necessary changes in life.
Remember, the axe is already at the root of the trees….
Let us bear fruits in keeping with repentance.
God bless you…