He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with His winnowing fork. Then He will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into His barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”
John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people. John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. So Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others.Luke 3:17-20
Interesting isn’t it. Despite what I said in the previous Gem, these following verses certainly contain a slant toward judgement. Does that mean my comments in Gem 769 related to the meaning of “Baptism of Fire” in the verse before were wrong? I still stand by what I wrote yesterday but there is certainly evidence for a judgement tone coming out of verse 16. That being the case the tone of what follows is certainly of “judgement”. The wheat and the chaff and the burning of the chaff with never-ending fire in the context of warnings given to the masses. Then John follows it up with specific warnings to Herod Antipas as an individual. Notice he moves from general warnings to very specific issues of sin in an individual. This raises all sorts of issues in its application for us.
John says God will separate the wheat from the chaff. This is a Bible theme, see Prov 20:26, Jer 12:13, 51:33, Matt 13:25-39. The astute ones among you will notice I left out one set of references – those found in Matt 3:11-12. The reason is I want to make further comment about the arrangement of material. These verses in Matthew are the same set as found in our current Luke verses. Notice how in Luke and Matthew the idea hangs together as a packet. These verses goes with the “baptist of fire” which comes before it in each case, Matthew and Luke. But notice “baptism with fire” is missing in the Mark reading of this. [Mark 1:7-8] Both Matthew and Luke add the “baptism of fire” and couple it with the judgement verses listed above. But only Luke slips the verses related to the public criticism of Herod Antipas here. The verses above belong in a set that addresses the issues of judgement and then Luke adds the personal judgement of Herod Antipas to it. Interesting. This clearly becomes a judgement segment, headed by the concept of the “baptism of fire”.
The wheat and chaff theme is a classic. God is looking for harvest, something of value. This is epitomized by wheat, but instead of wheat there is chaff. It matches the wood, hay and stubble of 1 Cor 3 which is destined to be burned up by fire. By Luke attaching the verses related to Herod Antipas, Luke is highlighting the fact that open sins as well the heart and inner life of individuals as well as the body will be separated and examined.
On the matter of addressing corporate sin and individual sin. Most would say that corporate sin must be addressed publicly as seen throughout Scripture. But individual sin should be addressed face to face with the individual after Matt 18:15-17. But there does come a time when an individual’s sin should be made public. Time for you to ponder why and under what circumstances?
There’s nothing more dangerous to the kingdom of darkness than a believer with the Word of God in their mouth.Joyce Meyer
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.Einstein
Don’t ask God to get you out of your problem. Ask God to use your problem to get the junk out of you!Rick Warren
There are no padded crosses.Joyce Meyer