v 14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers.
John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”
Here were some soldiers, living and working as an unwelcome occupying force, and yet they were asking this Jewish preacher an honest question about their conduct. You might have expected John to say something about treating the inhabitants with compassion, or leave the army and get a less violent occupation, but no, it is simple and everyday advice – be content with your pay. Just how down to earth is that in today’s society! Again, the advice is not intended as the solution to modern industrial relations, but discontent is often the issue in a workplace. ‘Fred over there gets more pay than me – why shouldn’t I get more?’ How does this relate to some of the current issues in society with the cost of living rising rapidly, and our incomes buying less than they used to? To what extent should we learn to be content with less – or should we be agitating for the poorest in society to be getting more? That may seem a political issue, but it also has spiritual implications.