A Message of Repentance

A Need to Repair and a need to Prepare

I will be honest here. Every time I read this Gospel text, it reminds me of witnessing Catechumen getting baptised at Easter Vigil and I always wondered the Jesus experience would be like to be submerged in water and rise up into a new life with Christ.  You see, I was a Catholic from my infancy and within me is a hidden desire to experience baptism all over again but with a better understanding of it. This Gospel passage piques my curiosity about the key messages of the text. What was the role of John the Baptist? What was the meaning of his message to the people at that time? How is this message related to my current life?


John the Baptist was announcing the salvation of God that would be for all flesh, in other words, for all people. This does not mean that all people would be saved, but that God would make salvation available to all people. That is what John does in Luke 3:3. It says that he went preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. What is he telling them? He is telling them that the King is coming, and they need to get ready for His coming. His is a message of coming judgment. His is a message of “turn or burn.” John was calling upon the Jewish people to clean up their lives. He is telling them to clean up their act, to clean up their minds.


What is repentance? It is the Greek word metanoia, which literally means “a change of mind.” It is nearly always used in reference to turning from sin, and the clearest definition of repentance. However, turning from sin is only half of repentance. Repentance is a complete turning away from sin, and turning back to God. This is the key to true and lasting victory over sin. You have been walking down the road in one direction in sin and rebellion, and you make a 180 degree turn and start walking the other direction toward God and obedience.


Importantly, true repentance is a fully committed, frantic sprint back toward God. Remember The story of the prodigal son reminds us that God our Father sees you far off down the road, on your way home, he will run out to meet you with outstretched arms to welcome you home.


Do you want to be free from sin? This is what John preached. He preached the baptism of repentance. I want to encourage you, just as John was telling people to prepare for the coming of the king, we too must prepare for His second coming.


Advent is here. Are we still in our slumber? It is another year, another chance for us to see Advent as a time to prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. To help us prepare our hearts, here are some questions we should start asking ourselves:


  • How am I repairing and preparing to receive Jesus into our hearts?
  • Have I started to think of how we should be preparing for Jesus’s coming?
  • Am I still caught up with our sinful ways? What are those sins that have enslaved me?
  • How will I be turning back to our Father?
  • If He had shown up at my door last night, what would He have found me doing? What would He ask me? What is going to be my response to Jesus?