John is reprimanding the crowds who come to be baptized because they basically were wanting to avoid punishment from God so they thought getting baptized would be a good idea. They weren't ready to change their lives. I really liked verses 10-14...
The people asked John, "Then what should we do?" John answered, "If you have two shirts, share with the person who does not have one. If you have food, share that also." Even tax collectors came to John to be baptized. They said to him, "Teacher, what should we do?" John said to them, "Don't take more taxes from people than you have been ordered to take." The soldiers asked John, "What about us? What should we do?" John said to them, "Don't force people to give you money, and don't lie about them. Be satisfied with the pay you get." Luke 3:10-14 New Century Version
As I read that..I thought "How obvious!" "Duh!". But as I thought about it more, I realize how we still struggle with these same issues today. How many shirts are in my closet? How often have I gave away my clothes to someone else? How much food do I have in my fridge, but how often do I share it with others?
These people had allowed their culture to creep in and destroy their sense of right and wrong. Their values were influenced by what was "ok" in their society. As disciples of Christ, we have a higher authority that we must listen to and more and more his values and ways are the direct opposite of what our culture and our world feels is ok.
My brother asked if it was ok if he invited a woman to our Christmas Dinner. She has no family in the area, and won't be leaving to see her family until after the holidays because she's in the middle of a messy divorce. My mind hesitated and then I said, "Yeah, definitely." But my first thought, was I don't know this woman, I don't want to spend the day with her...It's Christmas after all! YEAH SHAWNA>>IT"S CHRISTMAS after all! We should open our hearts and homes to people..especially those in need. This woman is down and out and I'm thinking about how it will possibly inconvenience me. Then I read this Chapter in Luke today and had confirmation once more, that I need to be more giving. I need to realize that everything I have, everything I am, and everything I do, comes from God and I should be willing to freely share it with anyone and everyone. It's about life change. Mine being transformed by God and my willingness to join God as He changes other lives. God thanks for the reminder, thanks for humbling me once more.