Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Help me to accept the demands of the Kingdom.
Imagination: (Picture John preaching at the Jordan River.)
The people are anxious for the Kingdom and are filled with many questions. John has excellent answers. He, also, clearly define his relationship to Jesus.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
People asked John, “Master, what are we to do?” He said, ‘If you have two coats, give to him who has none. Whoever has food, should do likewise.” To the tax collectors who came to be baptized he said, “Do not collect more than is legal.” To the soldiers, he said, “Do not take any money by force and accuse no one unjustly. Be content with your pay.”
John said, “I am baptizing you with water, but there is one coming who is mightier than I. I am not fit to loosen his sandal strap. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire. Using exhortations like this, he preached the good news to the people.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Filled with holy desires, the people want to know what is required of them to enter the Kingdom.
- John’s instructions are very simple. “Share your coat” and “Share your food.”
- John even interprets God’s will for tax collectors. “Do not collect too much”.
- To the soldiers, he says, “Do no violence. Act justly. Be content with your pay.”
- Since these demands are reasonable, they gain great hope.
- John gives even greater hope. He speaks of someone who will baptize in the Holy Spirit and fire.
- John’s message was good news to a despairing Israel.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, I am filled with holy desires.
- Show me what to do to enter your Kingdom.
- Your demands are reasonable and easy to obey.
- I will do the simple tasks of my state in life.
- Your word is good news for my soul.
- You fill me with great hope. I can be your disciple.
- You even pour out your Spirit of divine fire.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will seek to know what God demands of me.
- I will take hope. God never demands the impossible.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Using exhortations like these, he preached the good news to the people.