Decision (Dictionary): Promptness and firmness in deciding; a determination arrived at after consideration.
Decision (Bible): Judging, divine judgment; opinion, counsel, judgment, intention, decree.
John the Baptist preached a baptism of repentance and many were drawn to him in the wilderness including some Levites and Pharisees. The people knew John was different from the religious leaders of his day. His words struck at the hearts of those who heard his preaching. As we can read in this Luke account, John spoke to them in a very direct way and spoke truth into their hearts.
Luke 3:7-10: 7 He then said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. And don’t start saying to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 9 Even now the ax is ready to strike[a]the root of the trees! Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 “What then should we do?” the crowds were asking him. (HCSB)
The first people that asked the question of “what shall we do” was the crowd gathered around him. John answered their question:
Luke 3:11: 11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” (NLT)
This advice still holds true today! In our society, we seem to be very focused on what we own rather than what we can give or share. Giving and sharing have eternal attributes but many have missed that path.
The next group to ask the same question was the tax collectors:
Luke 3:12-13: 12 And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “[Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.” (NASB)
Tax collectors were notorious and well known for stealing. To make matters worse, they were backed by Roman authority. John openly addressed the issue of stealing and told them to stop this practice! Today we see people stealing money in small amounts (petty theft) and large-scale theft (Ponzi schemes). It is greed.
The third group of people to ask the same question were the soldiers:
Luke 3:14: 14 Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.” (NASB)
The Roman soldiers were formidable and pretty much able to do whatever they wanted. Remember the soldiers sent to guard Jesus tomb accepted money to lie about what they had seen! Lying and greed often go together!
In summary, we see John’s answers to the question of “what shall we do” focused on the hearts of the people. The question that was asked and the answers given by John were life changing! It was a very good question!
There may have been times in our lives when we felt like we have been run over by a freight train! Then there were other times we had abundance and joy. Or there may be a moment arranged by God to speak truth into someone’s life. These moments need an answer to the same question- “what shall I do” or “how can I help?” The simplest answer is to pray and bring it under the blood of Jesus! It is to accept His righteousness and authority which will provide the answer to the question.
Philippians 4:13: 13 for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power. (TLB)