The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” (Luke 3:10)
The people came to St. John the Baptist, asking for basic moral guidance.
St. John gave specific answers to the various different kinds of people who asked. In each case, he outlined the basic form of an upright life.
Are you wealthy? Keep only what you need, and give the rest to those who have less. Are you in business or government? Then make sure all your dealings are fair and lawful in every way. Put in an honest day’s work, and be satisfied with what you are paid—no bribes, no schemes. Do you carry a weapon in the name of public peace and security? Then carry it peaceably. Only draw it against real bad guys.
Clear, basic moral guidance. St. John was directing people how to live reasonable, sober, honest lives in this world. We need this above all: To know how to live in a way that pleases God.
If anyone takes this knowledge for granted, so much the better. When the rich young man asked the Lord Jesus, “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” the Lord spelled out the Ten Commandments. The young man was perhaps amused at so basic an answer, and he said, “Master, I have followed all these from my youth.” –If you can say the same, praise God! The Lord loved the young man for being able to say it.