We all like to receive good news. Israel had been waiting anxiously for the Messiah, and they even wondered if John might be the one they’d been waiting for. But John wasn’t just there to deliver a message and prepare the way for the true Messiah. Verse 18 tells us that, as well as proclaiming the good news, he exhorted the people.
When we exhort people, we want them to take action. It wasn’t enough for John just to preach the good news to the crowds; he knew that more was expected of them: they had to acknowledge their sins, repent of them, and believe that Jesus was the Messiah of prophecy, sent to save the world.
We may not like words like sin and repent, but the truth is the message hasn’t changed. We also have to do more than listen, we have to take action and let Christ’s presence in our lives make a real difference.
Dear Lord, I pray that my actions always reflect that I have heard your words and that I believe in your Son. Amen. — DLG