Read Luke 3:7-18 with your family. This is the second of our two weeks looking at John the Baptist.
John was a very educated man. His father and mother were both educated in the ways of the Hebrew Scriptures, so John grew up learning about God’s promises and how we were to live. In today’s lesson he is talking to a number of people who worked for the Roman government. A Hebrew person working for the Roman government was considered a traitor to the Hebrew people and less important that a Roman person to the Romans. They were not respected or liked. The fact that the jobs they did hurt the Hebrew people made it even worse. We can kinda understand why they wanted to get some pleasure out of working the job – even if it was only extra money.
However John told them no! Don’t take more than you should have, and be satisfied with what you earn. John did not stop with telling them to change their behaviour, he also told them that there was someone coming who would make life better for everyone: The Messiah, the long awaited person who the Hebrew people believed would save them from the Romans. Even those who worked with the Romans and were disliked by the Hebrews, would get to share in this new world that would be created. But before any of that happened, they had to change their behaviour (we use the word ‘repent’, which means be honest about how you have been acting and promise to do better).
God’s promise of the saviour was not dependent on people’s behaviour, but people would have an easier time hearing and accepting God’s message if they changed their behaviour first.