“What Then Shall We Do”
As Luke provides an orderly account of the life and work of Jesus Christ, there is a section early in the book about the preliminary work of John the Baptist. In Luke chapter three, right after Luke’s characteristic “time stamp” (in verses 1 & 2), he reports that “the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.” John, thus endowed, proclaimed “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,” and this fulfilled what Isaiah had prophesied, about preparing the way of the Lord.
As John delivered the message God gave him, to prepare for Jesus’ ministry, people came to him and said, “what then shall we do?” This should interest us, because it exhibits something fundamental: When God’s word is delivered, it calls for a response! A response to God that changes your life.
Listen to this, from Luke 3:10-14.
10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
The people knew something that many today miss: When God’s word is delivered, it calls for a response. There is something for the hearer to do, to receive what God offers.
With that thought in mind, consider what Luke also documents in Acts chapter two. After Jesus was raised and had ascended into heaven, God’s final message, the gospel of Christ, was delivered by the apostles. On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached the gospel and guess what the people said? According to Acts 2:37, the people said: “What shall we do?”
Peter gave God’s answer: “Repent and be baptized,” (Acts 2:38). If you haven’t responded to the gospel, here is what your response ought to be. If you have obeyed the gospel, tell others what the Bible says they need to do.