Luke 3:10-14, And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. 12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? 13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
Those of us who are “preachers” often like to refer to John the Baptist as one of our “heroes” and a model for our preaching. It’s ludicrous of course, but we still do it. With great humility, of course! 🙂
Let’s not even take the time to talk about his simple and sacrificial life-style, his great humility, and his consuming desire to see his life hid behind the shadow of Christ (JN 3:30), we also often seem to forget what John said. When asked by those who heard his preaching (LK 3:3-14), “What shall we do?” his reply was simple:
(1) Give to those who have a need,
(2) Live honestly and be content,
(3) Don’t live by violence!
John’s was a simple and practical message that pointed people from different classes and different conditions to Christ and a Christlike life. How are we living? What are we preaching? Who or what are we pointing people to? And what are we encouraging people to do?
If we think, as preachers, we are following in the footsteps of John the Baptist, our message, not to mention our manner of life, should line up with his!