Your True Inheritance
Matthew 3:8 Bear fruit worthy of repentance.
People were coming out in droves, excited by the preaching of this wild man, John the Baptist. Even religious leaders were making their way to the countryside, enticed by his charisma. John, however, knew that they were still very self-absorbed. Their faith was far too wrapped up in traditions and in their own personal lineage. The inheritance which they received was of huge importance and for them was really their salvation.
John was challenging them to something new — something deeper. Now their repentance had to mean something — they were to be different! Their lives were to bear the fruit of one who had truly repented. No matter what their inheritance or heritage may have been, that would not be good enough. Society may have thought it was worth something, but it was not worth anything in the eyes of God.
Repentance meant a new life that was evangelical by nature, sharing the good news with others, and thus bearing fruit. We become part of an “evangelical society that exists ‘in newness of life.’” (Cyril of Alexandria, Fragment 20) It was John's challenge to the religious leaders. What would their lives really reveal?
The true inheritance is what we receive by way of Christ. That which we receive from our parents, or from the world is not a pedigree that will bring us eternal life. What we receive by way of Christ is new life. As we are baptized into this life we are made new — regenerated as his children. That’s why the things of the world do not matter! What matters is being in him and living as a part of God’s family.
As a member of God’s family we want to share what we have with others. Why wouldn’t we? We are invited into a deeply personal relationship — to become children of God. We are united with him throughout all of eternity and the song of the old hymn becomes so clear — “The things of this world will grow strangely dim.” The pedigree we may have, the things we may have obtained — they will all grow strangely dim in light of God! And wouldn’t we want others around us to experience this as well? If we are not sharing this with others, aren’t we being exceedingly selfish?
“Bear fruit worthy of repentance.”
The work of Christ makes regeneration possible. Repentance on our part leads us into the new life which is made a reality because of Christ’s work, but we must bear fruit. No excuses. We are a blessed people. If we don’t share what we have we may just shrivel up and die because we have been reborn to bear fruit. Our true inheritance — Christ. The challenge is huge! Live worthy of him!
Lord, please help me be aware of opportunities you provide. Amen.