People From All Over

D L Henderson
3 min readMar 2, 2024

People From All Over

March 2, 2024

It was about 3:00 am when I woke up this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I put some arthritic salve on my aching knees and started thinking about the record of John the Baptist in Matthew 3. My thoughts focused on this excerpt: “People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.” (3:5–6).

Who were all these people?

First of all, they were more than likely ordinary working class and small business owners — everyday workaday people- craftsmen, shop owners…

“Those who worked on special crafts were builders, stonemasons (stonecutters), carpenters, woodcarvers, boatbuilders, goldsmiths, silversmiths, glass workers, potters, leather workers, weavers, and fullers (who worked with cleaning and texturing old and new cloth)…the apostle Paul apparently made a living at the craft of tentmaking (Acts 18.3). Some crafts like baking, cooking, and sewing were done in the everyday work of keeping a household, but some people used these skills to create businesses as well.” — https://bibleresources.americanbible.org

Mark 12 records a rather lengthy, ongoing, back and forth discussion Jesus had with the religious leaders in which there is this interesting observation: “The large crowd listened to him with great delight.” (12:37).

It seems to me that all those people coming out to John the Baptist and likewise, gathered around Jesus, accepting their teaching, were indeed ordinary, normal people — people you would meet on the streets or in stores today.

Did they all get right with God? Well, in a word, no.

“But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. ‘You brood of snakes!’ he exclaimed. ‘Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, “We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.” That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.” — Matthew 3:7–10.

Maybe all dogs go to Heaven, but the way people behave today and the way we have behaved throughout history, it seems to me that not all people go to Heaven. Our hangup today may be that unlike the people of Jesus’ time and culture, we do not have a general awareness of God as a central dynamic of our lives.

That reminds me, the place of the dead which is a place separated from God is not infinite, as many have been told. The proper concept is “eternal.” It is a place of “always now.” And the fire is the type of fire that eats away at a person’s conscience — as in “If only I had…” — like regrets, a guilty conscience — you know, that type of suffering. And there is no water to quench that continual thirst. Read Luke 16:19–31 — Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man.

Unfortunately, when Jesus was arrested and put on trial under the Romans, all the people who had gathered around Jesus fled. Even the 12 Disciples who had sworn unswerving allegiance fled away with the rest… Wouldn’t you? Those conquering Romans had spears and swords and were not shy about using them.

Anyways, something else to think about.

The last concept we all need to realize is found in the account where Jesus meets up with two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:25–27) where it is written, “Jesus said to them, ‘You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?’ Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Something else to ponder, maybe…

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between