God’s call to repentance through John the Baptist’s was proclaimed to all who would hear it. To prepare the Way of the Lord, He declared to all people God’s Salvation which was quickly approaching through Jesus the Messiah. John exhorted all people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance,” to turn from their sin and live a life that displayed their faith in God. His hearers were truly of all different backgrounds, proving that John’s Message was meant for everyone and emphasizing that Salvation was granted not by pedigree but by faith. Crowds of Jewish people sought John to be baptized. Tax collectors came to listen to his teaching. Even Roman soldiers sought from John guidance on how to live a life of faith. Hearers of His words were given the opportunity to designate themselves either as wheat for the barn or the chaff to be burned.
Through John the Baptist, God relays a call to Himself for all people. He displays His desire for all people to be saved from His Just Wrath. Those with repentant hearts ask the Baptist, “What should we do?” While works are not the means to the Salvation given only through Jesus, they are outer movements which can show an inward transformation towards God. When prompted to repentance from the Lord after straying far from Him, is our response the same?
What should we do, Lord, to show our love to You? What should we do to prove that we are Yours fully? What should we do to display the inner workings of our hearts which move according to Your Will? May our hearts desire always to know what pleases the Lord our God.