Bearing Fruit of Repentance

Matthew 3:6

…they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

It’s interesting that right before Christ appears on the scene, people felt a need to confess their sins and be baptized. John was “preparing the way” and there was this desire among people to confess their sins. Confession is a sign of a changed heart.

Matthew 3:8

John said, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”

This word repentance is quite different than what most people think. This is from a blog post I wrote called Real Repentance:

Look at the original Greek word for “repent” – metanoeo. It comes from two root words, meta and noeo.

Meta means an over-arching change. There’s a difference between “morphing” and “meta-morphing”. Morphing is changing from within something similar. Meta-morphing, on the other hand, is changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly. It’s an over-arching change–a broader, more high-level change.

Noeo is where we get the word knowledge. It means to think, to perceive, to understand.

So, combine the two meta-noeo, and you have a word that means “an over-arching change in how you understand or perceive”.

What John was saying here was “bear fruit in keeping with a changed heart”. If the hearts of the Pharisees were truly changed, truly “metanoeo-ed”, then their actions would bear fruit of “repentance”. Their actions would bear fruit that they were now thinking differently.

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