Luke 3:15-17 :
As the people were in expectation, and all men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he was the Christ, John answered them all, “I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the latchet of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire, whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
John was always very careful to tell people immediately and clearly that he was not the Christ or Messiah. Here he also explained how much lower in importance he was by telling us that he wasn’t even worthy to be a lowly servant who took care of dirty feet. In that culture, feet would get much dirtier than in many cultures today because roads were dirt or mud when it rained and people wore sandals. To add to that they usually walked from place-to-place as that’s what they could afford for transportation. I understand that even today in the middle east today, feet are still a lowly part of the body culturally.
It is good to note that when a righteous man is spoken of as if he were the Christ, he is to refute it immediately just as John did in this example. I must be very honest in saying that this one of the biggest concerns I have with President Obama after he was portrayed that way. It is extremely important for anyone, including him, to make it clear that there can only be one Messiah and that is Jesus Christ. This is a very serious matter and John explains that here too.
Notice that Jesus is coming to do two things not just one. I hear a lot about the Holy Spirit today but I don’t hear that much about the coming fire of Jesus. It is true that Jesus has brought us the Holy Spirit and has been gathering His church together for many years, but John’s message of warning should be equally important to us. Jesus will be coming with fire and as John says “he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor.” This means that no one will get away without getting what they deserve.
Those who trust in Jesus to save them from their sin will no longer deserve punishment, but those who deny Jesus’ salvation “he will burn up.. with unquenchable fire.” Just as this is natural to do in agriculture, it will be natural for the Son of God to ultimately destroy evil. There is no equality between good and evil as is believed by some. Eventually, all evil will be destroyed by Jesus.
Realizing this, what should we do? Let those who haven’t believed in Jesus believe and we who are to see Jesus soon should live lives consistent with that fact as I discussed in the last post. Jesus could come any minute and the job won’t be done until the evil is completely burned up.