When John the Baptist began his ministry he preached saying, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Matthew 3:2 What was his audience supposed to change their minds about? Luke gives us insight into the belief system of the Jewish people at that time. Luke 3:7-9
John the Baptist warned the Religious leaders, “…do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our Father.’” Matthew 2:9 In other words they needed to think differently about themselves. Just because they were physical descendants of Abraham did not automatically mean they were spiritual children of Abraham. They needed to have a faith relationship with the Father through the Son who would be coming after John.
The apostle Paul verifies John’s message when he found some Jewish men who had only been baptized by John. He told them that John’s message was that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Jesus Christ. Acts 19:4
The Jews, especially the religious leadership, needed to repent of their spiritual arrogance, believing they were God’s favored people simply because they were physical descendants of Abraham. They in fact searched the Scriptures, for in them they thought that they had eternal life. Yet, they would reject the very One of which the Scriptures testified, Jesus Christ. John 5:39
And even though Jesus had said many things to them, so that they would come to salvation, they rejected Him. They were not willing to come to Him so that they would receive eternal life. John 5:33, 39 They had refused at that time to change their thinking about themselves; that they had a need, a need of a Savior. And therefore they refused to believe in Jesus as Messiah, God, and ultimately their Savior. They refused to repent.
How about you? Have you repented, changed your mind? Have you realized that you can’t help the Lord Jesus save you? Your baptism, your good works, or simply trying to be a ‘good’ person will never justify you before a holy God. There is not one thing you or I can do to earn it. We must trust in Christ and His work alone to save us.
Through His death, burial, and resurrection He conquered sin and death and offers eternal life as a free gift to anyone who comes to Him by faith. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9 If you have been trusting in something you can do, why not repent and trust solely in Jesus Christ today to save you? Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” John 6:47