“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John [the Baptizer] answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.” Luke 3:10-14
The message of the kingdom that John the Baptizer and Jesus the Messiah came announcing is the most exciting and consequential message ever to be expressed. It is hopeful, but it is also challenging. It is inviting, but it is also demanding. The people who heard John preaching in the wilderness near the Jordan believed him, and they knew that the kingdom’s arrival meant that they would have to do something about it. Notice the questions from the different groups in the above passage: “What should we do?”
Interestingly, those who heard the fuller kingdom announcement made by the apostles after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven had a similar response: “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter told them the first steps to take in response to the message, and then he and the other apostles would have to spend a great deal of time answering the question further once they had repented and were baptized. In fact, they went house to house in order to teach and direct these new disciples in what to do (Acts 2:42; 5:42). This only made sense, because Jesus told them that in the process of making disciples they would have to teach them to obey everything He commanded (Matthew 28:20).
I’m simply wanting to remind you today, Disciple, that ours is a life of believing the truth that has been passed on to us and of learning what to do about it. As disciples of the Master Jesus, it is essential that when we hear from His Word we ask ourselves and one another, “So, what should we do now?” As James wrote, “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
What has changed in your day to day living, Disciple, as a result of your learning from Jesus? Have you purposefully and specifically made steps to become the person He is calling to you become? I’m also asking myself these questions, for, like you, I want to live the fullest life in the kingdom of God here and now in preparation for the immortal kingdom He’s preparing for us in the new creation. May we set our minds and efforts to doing even as we’re learning the depths of God’s good message of life through Jesus.
Learning to live the truth I love with you,