What Jesus Did! 'No False Pride in Our Heritage' — Luke 3:7-9

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

People came to be baptized by John. John said to them, "You are like poisonous snakes! Who warned you to run away from God's anger that is coming? You must do the things that will show that you have really changed your hearts and lives. And don't think that saying, 'Abraham is our father' will help you. I tell you that God can make children for Abraham from these rocks here! The ax is now ready to cut down the trees. Every tree that does not make good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
— Luke 3:7-9
Illustration of Luke 3:7-9 — "You are like poisonous snakes!"

Key Thought

So often we want to take the efforts of those around us, and those who have gone before us, and claim them as our own. Faith is aided by a long heritage, but all genuine faith is always first generation faith—no one can believe for us. Many in Jesus' day wanted to claim lineage, race, and heritage as their spiritual guarantee. John reminds all people of all races for any time that heritage and pedigree don't mean a thing unless our faith is genuine. Let's show the genuineness of our faith in what we do, not in who we claim as our parents or what religious group we claim as our home.

Today's Prayer

Father, may my faith be my own and may it be as real in my daily behavior as it is in my heart and my heritage. Empower me to live out the faith I profess. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

It was the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were under Caesar: Pontius Pilate, the ruler of Judea; Herod, the ruler of Galilee; Philip, Herod's brother, the ruler of Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias, the ruler of Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At that time, a command from God came to John, the son of Zechariah. John was living in the desert. John went through the whole area around the Jordan River. He told the people {God's message}. John told them to be baptized to show that they wanted to change their hearts and lives. Then their sins would be forgiven. This is like the words written in the book of Isaiah the prophet : "There is a person shouting in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled. And every mountain and hill will be made flat. Roads with turns will be made straight. And rough roads will be made smooth. Every person will know about the salvation of God!'" People came to be baptized by John. John said to them, "You are like poisonous snakes! Who warned you to run away from God's anger that is coming? You must do the things that will show that you have really changed your hearts and lives. And don't think that saying, 'Abraham is our father' will help you. I tell you that God can make children for Abraham from these rocks here! The ax is now ready to cut down the trees. Every tree that does not make good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

Luke 3:1-9

Related Scripture Readings

My brothers and sisters, if a person says that he has faith, but does nothing, then that faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save him? No! It is the same with faith. If faith does nothing, then that faith is dead, because it is alone. A person might say, "You have faith, but I do things. Show me your faith! Your faith does nothing. I will show you my faith by the things I do." You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe, too! And they shake with fear. You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing?

James 2:14, 17-20

"Be careful of false prophets. They come to you and look {gentle} like sheep. But they are really dangerous {like} wolves. You will know these people because of the things they do. Good things don't come from bad people, the same as grapes don't come from thorn bushes. And figs don't come from thorny weeds. In the same way, every good tree makes good fruit. And bad trees make bad fruit. A good tree cannot make bad fruit. And a bad tree cannot make good fruit. Every tree that does not make good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. You will know these false people by the fruit they make (things they do). "Not every person that says that I am his Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people that will enter the kingdom of heaven are those people that do the things that my Father in heaven wants. On the last day many people will say to me, 'You are our Lord! We spoke for you. And for you we forced out demons and did many miracles. ' Then I will tell those people clearly, 'Go away from me, you people that do wrong. I never knew you.'

Matthew 7:15-23

So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers. Be kind and humble. Don't do wrong to a person to pay him back for doing wrong to you. Or don't say something bad to a person to pay him back for saying something bad to you. But {ask God to} bless that person. Do this, because you yourselves were called to receive a blessing. {The Scripture says,} "If a person wants to enjoy life and to have many good days, that person must stop speaking evil and stop telling lies. That person must stop doing evil and do good; that person should look for peace and try to get it. The Lord sees the good people, and the Lord listens to their prayers. But the Lord is against those people that do evil."

1 Peter 3:8-12

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.