“Don’t you know who I am?”
The voice screamed out but the ears of the bailiff were turned away.
The young man, full of indignation, red faced and eyes burning with fury, screamed out again.
“You can’t do this to me! My father will see to it that all of you are finished! You will be sorry! Don’t you know my father?!”
But yet again, the threats and rant fell on deaf ears and the young man was left alone in the cell.
Finally, a lawyer arrived and the young man jumped to meet him.
“You’ve got to get me out of here. Have you talked to my father? How could he let me sit for even a second in this place? These men around here have no respect and they must not realize who I am…”
His voice was cut off as the lawyer began to speak.
“Son, there’s only one judge around here, and it ain’t your daddy. You’re alone on this one.”
The young man’s jaw dropped, his mouth hanging open in disbelief. And for once, he was speechless.
“Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
What a shock it was to these Jewish men to hear that being a Jew wasn’t enough to save them from Hell! They believed that their heritage, being a descendant of Abraham was enough. They were “God’s chosen people” after all. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t enough to be part of a family of believers. It didn’t matter that they claimed their father was Abraham. It was about who the One true Father is – God.
In order for these men, and all people, to be saved from the punishment of their sins, they have to put their faith and trust in who Jesus Christ is.
Others that came to John just wanted to be baptized to escape eternal punishment. But where was their acknowledgment of their sin? Where was their repentance? Was there any fruit in their lives, evidence, that proved they were truly a believer? No.
John declared that all must prepare for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Have you? It doesn’t matter if our family is “Christian” or even if we go to church. What matters is a personal decision to believe in what Christ did for us on the cross, giving His life for us and dying that day. And then, he was buried for 3 days and then overcame death and rose from the grave! What matters is what you do with that knowledge. I believe it, I accept His gift to save me from my sins, but now what? I repent. I allow Jesus to rule over my life and I turn away from sin and turn towards God, following His way, not my own.
The time to make that choice is now. Are you ready? There is one Judge, the Lord our God, and I want Him to see that my debt has been paid in full by the Lamb, Jesus Christ.