Work and the Fruit of Repentance

Roman HelmetBefore Jesus began His earthly ministry John the Baptist prepared the way.

John prepared the way by preaching that people should repent.

John’s message was anointed and people and began repenting and coming to him to be baptized.

When the people repented they asked John what many people ask when they turn to God: “What should I do now?”

It’s the same question a cobbler asked Martin Luther, as I mentioned in a  previous job post. John’s response was interesting.

Tax collectors were one of the most despised groups of the workforce. They were usually Jews who agreed to collect taxes from Jews for Israel’s oppressors, the Romans. The job could be very lucrative because with the authority of the Roman government behind them they could collect more than what was owed and keep the difference for themselves.

When the tax collectors asked what they should do to show their repentance, John said, “Don’t collect any more than you are required to do.” See Luke 3:13. John didn’t tell them to pray more, go to synagogue more, or to quit their job and enter the priesthood. He told them to do their job ethically.

To Roman soldiers who came to him John said, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely–be content with your pay.” See Luke 3:14. Again, John defined repentance in terms of their work.

How you do your job matters to King Jesus and His kingdom. GS

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