Text: “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” – Matthew 3:8.
Comment: John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, a fearless and uncompromising prophet of God, made the statement in the text for today. It was addressed to the hypocritical and sanctimonious Pharisees and Sadducees who came in large numbers to be baptized by him. He made it crystal clear that baptism without genuine and observable repentance is null and void. “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham…” (Matthew 3:7-10). To underline the importance of repentance to true discipleship, Jesus Christ began his Ministry on the same note, saying: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17). Furthermore, the multitude who heard the Apostles preach in different tongues (languages) on the day of Pentecost, asked them what should they do to be saved. Their response was: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy ghost.(holy spirit)” – Acts 2:38.