5/3/22 Devotional from Ed
May 3, 2022
Author: Ed Black
Text: Matthew 3:7-12
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
"I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
My Greek professor at Union Seminary jokingly calls his introductory language courses "Baby Hebrew" and "Baby Greek," but if you take them, they hardly feel (or maybe it was just me) they're anything but "baby!"
Without looking it up, who can correctly pronounce the word below?
Without inserting the standard dad joke response when you tell someone you're taking Greek (it's all Greek to me), let's agree that learning a new language is challenging. But this word above, "meh-ta-noiya" is significant in the New Testament and one that Dr. Brisson asked us to memorize and spell throughout the course. The literal translation means "repentance," but I think the New Testament writers (we're learning in the second grade Bible class that the original language for the NT is Greek) would argue for something deeper, something even more challenging: "CHANGE."
I maybe have mentioned this before, but I used to work for someone who had a sign behind their desk that said, "Change is inevitable, but growth is optional." In that sense, "change" refers to external change, but what the New Testament makes clear is "change" must be internal for true transformation to occur.
Each day presents us an opportunity for μετάνοια.
Prayer: Holy God, may your Spirit fill us this day and beyond. Keep working in us to change us so we may be transformed. Amen.