The crowds asked, “What should we do?” John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” [Luke 3:10-11 NLT]
John speaks on several occasions of offering fruit of repentance. It bears noting that John's instruction is not a high minded call to attend worship services or to offer sacrifices at the temple. The evidence the Baptist wants is so practical in nature. Be generous with your clothing and your food. So elegantly simple.
In the ensuing verses he tells tax collectors to not illegally line their pockets with extra taxes. He tells others: “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.” The outcome that John wants is not the overthrowing of Roman occupation but of the sin that has held men captive.
Generally speaking, sinning and repenting are never private matters. Our sin affects our neighbors. Yet our repentance can affect them on an even greater scale. When we repent, our neighbors are clothed and fed by the generosity of repentance. And our communities are made better because of our repentance.
Teach us Lord to offer fruit of repentance that helps our neighbors and shows your love for them.
... this devotion is part of a series about John the Baptist.