“Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.”
John the Baptist’s message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). Surprisingly, this call to change became popular, and people from Jerusalem and all Judea came to be baptized by him.
But when some hypocritical religious leaders came to be baptized, John sensed they weren’t interested in really repenting—really changing. He clearly told them that just being a descendant of Abraham wasn’t enough. They would be judged by their own actions. They needed actions to produce fruits to prove they really were sorry and desired to change.
John described some of these fruits in Luke 3:10-14. They included giving to those in need, not cheating or intimidating people and being content. Those doing wrong should stop doing wrong to show they were serious about changing.
For more about what it means to repent, see our section on “Repentance.”