Luke 3: 14 “Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
John is calling for wholesale change, the kind that turns society around. True revival isn’t seen in a building of worshippers but amongst the crowds, the tax-collectors and soldiers. It is seen in our relationships, homes and work places.
The soldiers were not told to quit their jobs but to be a different kind of soldier. “Don’t justify your oppressive attacks on people, stealing from them and bringing false charges against them simply because you think you haven’t enough salary.” That still happens today in many countries where corruption and bribery is openly displayed.
Basically, John is saying there is never any reasonable excuse, they did have a choice and they should start choosing right.
If the soldiers stopped their extortion, the tax collectors stopped their exploitation and the crowd cared for one another then this would bring a productivity to their communities that would make them fruitful.
It made sense and it still does. John’s context was one of emergency, an urgency to be different. Not because of what has happened but of what is to come.
If you have a special guest coming to your house today then yesterday you would have spent some time cleaning and getting everything ready.
When people start to change the way they live their lives it isn’t only a signal that something good has happened to them but it does signal that something is about to take place. This truth applies for those inside and outside the Church.