by Barry Newton
In the movie, Karate Kid part 3, Mr. Miyagi’s heirloom Bonzai tree was uprooted, exposed to oceanic brine and then broken. When Daniel, his karate trainee, became distraught over these events, Mr. Miyagi explained the life lesson that good strong roots provide hope for weathering crises and for healing.
To live life well does require great roots.
Almost two-thousand years before this cinematic event, John the Baptizer honed this principle to its true essence. Strong roots are not enough. We need enduring roots.
John knew people cling to those roots they believe will protect them. As John proclaimed the coming wrath and the need to be prepared for the kingdom, he anticipated the unreliable roots of the Judaic religious establishment.
“Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, and don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:8-10, NET).
The days are coming when Jesus will gather his wheat, but burn the chaff. How we live and respond to the kingdom does make a difference.
To what root do we cling for security? Heritage? Status? Wealth? Ability? Jesus?