You may be thinking to yourself, "Boy! He was hurting for something to write in this column." Well partially.
Mt 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance
As you probably recognize, the above verse is referring to Johns instructions to some of those who were wanting him to baptize them. John had the wonderful insight to recognize their ulterior motives and was essentially refusing to do what they wanted. I want to focus on the little word, "meet." The word meet is mentioned in the Bible 127 times. Obviously most of those words were connected to someone meeting someone else. It made interesting reading just to read those instances. Only a few times was it used as it is used in the above text, but lets take it from there. John was looking for visible proof of verbal requests. He was telling those folks, "if you want me to baptize you then you need to show me something that would require me to do that." When we look at that use of the word "meet," then it is not too far from how we usually would use the word. "The meeting place for me to do what you want me to do is a chunk of repentance fruit. When I see that fruit, then I will dunk you." Some Churches have a similar criteria today before they will administer baptism, but I have found that the most thorough investigations into a candidate's worthiness does not guarantee that the candidate will live up to expectations. I have seen some pretty dirty characters come up out of the baptismal water clean as a whistle and go forth abounding for the Lord. On the other hand I have baptized a couple or more who were clean as a whistle when they went under, but jumped into the hog trough before the baptistery water dried. There is no human way of pre-determining which way people will go. "They are going to do what they are going to do." and no! I do not believe in Baptismal regeneration.
On the other hand I believe John was not in error when he was asking for what he was asking. He was not really wanting them to bring something tangible out to the river Jordan, he was looking for evidence that proved their heart was right with God. The meet was the meat of their doing and being something that proved they had had a heart change. It wasn't something that could be listed on a 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper and certainly not on tables of stone. John was looking for something that could have been tangible or intangible. Sometimes it can be seen in the gleam of the eye. Sometimes it can be seen in returned, stolen, goods. We have long ago gotten away from the phrase, "Take my word for it!" Go to the bank and borrow a couple of thousand on your word alone. If you do let me know the name of that bank!
Lots of Christians would like for their worlds to be satisfied with their verbal testimony of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet they don't love Church, they don't love fellow Christians, they seldom read a loved Bible, They don't have a verbal testimony that causes others to want to follow or even come to their Church. I really am convinced that many people will wind up in Hell, because of the false testimony of Christians who do not have fruit meet for repentance. I spend a lot of my relationships in debate with folk who have no real desire to be their best for Christ.