December 14, 2015

The One

Luke 3:1-20

The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah.

—  Luke 3:15

It makes sense that people were wondering whether John was the Messiah, the promised deliverer of God’s people. John attracted attention. He looked and sounded like the prophets of long ago, and he could draw a crowd. People came from all over and asked him, “Teacher . . . what should we do?” And John was not afraid to tell them. He spoke the truth, even to people in power.

People were wondering about John, and his teaching tells us something about them. Some had two coats while others had none. Some had food, when others did not. They were told to share what they had with others. Tax collectors, soldiers, and other officials had to be reminded to be content with their pay. People were ripe for change, and John promised that a new day was coming.

When we are ripe for change, we can be tempted to follow the crowds and listen to anyone who promises a new program for a new day. Not everyone who draws a crowd is the One, however, and not everyone who attracts attention can do what John did. John explained that he was preparing the way for someone greater.

In a season filled with claims that a new product or program will change our lives, we need to remember that the crowds are not often right. We need someone who can point our way to Jesus.

Gracious Lord Jesus, may we hear the messengers you send to turn our hearts back to you, that we may be prepared to receive you. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Norman Visser

Norman Visser has served as a pastor of churches in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and South Dakota. He states that while he is “not known for waiting patiently,” he is “working on it.” Norman and his wife, Marcia, have three children.

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