As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts
concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with
water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will
baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Luke 3: 15-16 (New Revised Standard Version)
John the Baptizer experienced the Holy Spirit’s “stirring up.” The Spirit gave John the word of God, to proclaim the salvation of God to the crowds who lived in the Jordan River region. His message was heard by those suffering daily hardship under the reign and oppression of Emperor Tiberius Claudius Caesar. The Spirit of God stirred up great expectation within the people: to be freed of oppression and live lives of hope, joy, and peace. Their Savior was coming! They would finally receive their long-awaited Messiah. He would liberate them by killing their oppressors and placing himself upon the emperor’s throne.
But the people misunderstood what John proclaimed and they misinterpreted the stirring of the Spirit. Salvation is not granted by a messiah’s sword, nor by baptism water alone. Christ Jesus, Emmanuel, is Messiah and Savior who conquers sin and death by grace and love.
Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit! Come, Lord Jesus! May we be stirred to follow you always, loving and serving others
for your sake and for your kingdom. Amen.
Jill – Cohort 4: Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
St. Mark Lutheran Church, Batesville IN