When John the Baptist began preaching about the kingdom, his words were received in different ways. He preached about repentance and a lifestyle that reflected a change of direction. Luke even records specific groups of people asking him what the “fruit of repentance” was for them (tax collectors, soldiers, etc. 3:10-14). However, with the religious leaders, the conversation was different and John spoke directly to the heart of the matter:
“And do not think to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” – Matthew 3:9-10 NKJV
The leaders’ problem was a sense of entitlement. Throughout the gospel accounts, the spirit of entitlement would prevent many from hearing Jesus’ message clearly. From the religious leaders wanting to maintain their positions, to the people wanting a David-type kingdom; the listeners often heard only what they wanted to.
The message of the gospel and the journey of a disciple is all about heart issues; but it’s not just about feeling better either, it’s also about doing better…in Christ. Are you hearing everything He’s saying, or just the parts you want to hear? What’s He leading you to do today?