Monday, March 7, 2016

Luke 3:10-14

Luke 3:10-14
And the crowds were asking a question while saying, “Therefore, what should we do?”  And answering, he said to them, “Let the one who has two tunics share with the one who does not have.  And let the one who has food do similar.”  And tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to Him, “Teacher, what should we do?”  And he said to them, “Collect no more than that which has been ordered for you.”  And while serving in the army, some also asked while saying, “And what should we also do?”  And he said to them, “You all should not extort nor falsely charge anyone.  And you all should be content with your wages.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

The crowd responds.  I am curious about the crowd.  I am sure that some people were asking because they were genuinely concerned about the John’s earlier claim of judgment.  But I wonder how many people were asking because they were mocking?  How many asked because they doubted?  How many asked because they wanted to hear what else the crazy man had to say?  But the truth is, the reason for their asking really doesn’t matter.  John isn’t here to be fooled.  Neither is God.  John is here to talk about God regardless of the motivation.  To the one who genuinely want to know, they will hear truth.  The ones who might be wanting to mock the crazy man in the wilderness will likewise hear truth.  The ones who doubt will hear truth.  Ours is not the place to question the motivations of others.  God can sort out the genuine from the less than genuine.  Our place is to talk about God and His desire for relationship with us.

Do you ever question the motivations of others?  Why is it easy to do?  Has your doubt about others ever impeded your ministry?  What enables John to not make that mistake here in this story?

Second Thought:

So how does John answer the crowd?  He tells them to play nice with each other.  He tells them to share.  This is such a curious beginning.  What is the point of sharing?  Sharing puts the needs of others ahead of our own needs.  In other words, sharing is the beginning of godliness.  God put our needs ahead of Himself – even dying on the cross for our sake.  To imitate God means to consider others, even those who do not deserve to be considered.  In this light, John reminds the people to share.

How good are you at sharing?  When has your life ever been blessed in your sharing?

Third Thought:

To the tax collectors and soldiers, John gives another like-minded message.  Imagine having the whole support of the government behind you in your ability to take money from others.  How much would you take?  Would you have the capacity of only taking that which is fair?  Or, suppose you had all of the strength and skill of a trained fighter.  Would you have the strength of character to not use it to intimidate people into giving you privilege?  John tells the tax collectors and soldiers to use their skills for good, not selfish gain.  In other words, they, too, need to think of others.  They need to be concerned about their actions.

Do you ever try to manipulate things to get your way?  Why do we all tend to use our God-given abilities for our own selfish gain?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 3:15-17
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