As Jesus is the cornerstone upon which the Church is built, so are his teachings the unifying cornerstone of Christian doctrine.

Preacher in poor country clothes

In Matthew 3:1-12 the writer introduces us to John the baptizer, a wilderness preacher dressed in the clothing of poor country folks, challenging the establishment with a new approach to sin. In the Hebrew scriptures, a sin offering was to be made at the temple. John’s approach was most likely seen by the religious leaders as being in direct rebellion to that. However, as a herald of the new covenant which was to be made in the Messiah’s blood, John emphasized an oft overlooked ingredient, repentance, a change of heart. After confession of sin, John did not encourage the repentant to make a sin offering as in Leviticus 5, but to be baptized in water. John’s baptism of repentance paved the way for a new high priest who would also baptize people but in a far more powerful way.

No comments: