Summary: 2 of 2. John’s audience sought & received practical application in preparing for God’s visitation. How can we be practiced for God’s visitation? Practicing for God’s visit requires...
PRACTICING For GOD’s VISITATION-II—Luke 3:10-14
People who are Practiced(experienced) at their job. Had done this before & were thus prepared.
If God were to come in absolute power, I don’t know that I’m ready for His arrival. I am unprepared for His perfect judgment. I am fearful of His chastisement.
I feel like I’m in the wrong business.
I feel like the business I’m in is just not run/handled in a way that is satisfactory to God. I don’t feel that I am honoring God with my work.
God wants to visit you. His desire is that His work in you gives Him glory! That His power becomes manifest in& thru what you put your hand to.
John’s audience sought & received practical application in preparing for God’s visitation.
We need practical instruction in preparing for God’s visitation.
What are some practical aspects of adequate preparation for God’s visitation?
Previously we had discovered 2 requirements for practicing for God’s visit were...
1. A ‘PERSONAL’ INVENTORY(:10, 12, 14)
2. A ‘BALANCE’ INVENTORY(:11) Possessions
3— Practicing for God’s visit requires...
A ‘MOTIVATION’ INVENTORY(:12-13)
:12—“Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, & said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?””
Along with the multitudes who were concerned about their response to God’s desire, “tax-gatherers” also came to be baptized by John. They, as did the multitudes(:10), asked John what sort of fruit would be appropriate to their repentance. They wanted to know how to live rightly before God.
What regarding their particular status as “tax collectors” would need rethinking? Evidently they were well aware of the people’s disdain for tax collectors. This is answered in :13. And his answer speaks to any business owner!
These particular tax collectors seem to have truly regarded & respected John as “Teacher”(See Lk. 7:28-30). Thus they knew he possessed wisdom for their questions.
The local “tax collectors” were in a line of work which provided for their families & they saw that purpose as paramount—as do many today. However their consciences obviously bothered them, about their own business practices, or they would not have sought out John.
“The Roman system of collecting taxes, especially the teloi, in their provinces, included ordinarily three grades of officials. There was the highest, called in Latin publicanus, who paid a sum of money for the taxes of a certain province, & then exacted that & as much more as he could from the province. This man lived in Rome. Then there were the submagistri, who had charge each of a certain portion of territory, & who lived in the provinces. Then there were the portitores, the actual custom-house officers, who did the real work of collecting the taxes. The N.T. word telwnhv is used to describe one of the portitores; it is the lowest of these three grades. It does not correspond to the Latin publicanus, & the word publican used to translate it in A.V. & R.V. is apt to be misleading; tax-collector would be better.”....Arcitelwnhv, only occurring in Lk. 19:2:, evidently describes a higher official than telwnhv, & is probably one of the submagistri, the next higher grade.—Thayer
Lk. 19:2—“Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector(arcitelwnhv), & he was rich.”
Tax collection was a lucrative business, which invited the hatred of others towards oneself.
Mat. 5:46-48—““For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.””
Mat. 9:10-11—“Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors & sinners came & sat down with Him & His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors & sinners?””
Mat. 18:15-17—““Moreover if your brother sins against you, go & tell him his fault between you & him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ “And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen & a tax collector.”
Lk. 7:28-30—““For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees & lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.”