“Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.” Luke 3:8
In this statement, John the Baptist is warning the Jewish people not to rely on their genealogical background for salvation. Not to count solely on the fact that they have descended from Abraham.
The true people of God, those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth, who can take hold of His promises and know He will be faithful to save and keep them, are those in Christ—whatever their earthly heritage. “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham…There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:7, 28-29).
I love the wording, “God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.” It brings to mind Ezekiel 36:26-28, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
Our God brings life to the soul that is dead in sin. He floods even the darkest places with light. He is able to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and remove our hardened heart of stone, the heart that will not hear Him or be moved to worship, and give us a heart of flesh. A heart that is responsive to His still, small, powerful voice of truth. A heart in which His Spirit reigns. A heart that is not cynical or calloused, but is overflowing with love, joy, and hope. A heart that rests in the knowledge that God is with us and we have nothing to fear.
It doesn’t matter where we come from, what we have done, or how far we have fallen away. We find hope in Christ because He is greater than our past. God is able to draw us near, even if we think we’re too far gone. He is mighty to save. “Those who were not my people I will call ‘My people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God’” (Romans 9:25-26).