Brood of vipers
Last night I read Matt.3&4. I was reading it allowed with my wife and daughter. After I read it allowed I wen back over the chapters to myself and the section that really stuck out was Matthew 3:7-10
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said unto them, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of repentance: 9 and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And even now the axe lieth at the root of the trees: every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
The section stuck with me because even though I have read through Matt. Multiple times and I have herd more than one sermon on this verse this time when I read it it was like reading it for the first time and instead of leaning on what i have already known about this set of verse I was asking God “what exactly was John saying to these men who came to be baptized by him”. The Pharisees and the Sadducees where coming down to be baptized by john like much of Jerusalem and Judea but unlike everybody else he called them out as a brood of vipers and asking them who warned them of the wrath to come questioning there motives. John knew as any other Jew knew that the men these two sects controlled the religious lives of the Jewish people. They preyed on the lower classes by twisting the scriptures to justify there actions and when called out used there authority condemn there opponents. The Pharisees where known for being very outwardly holy whenever there was an audience they would show off there righteousness. So just in this first verse he is calling them out in two ways first addressing there true nature and also exposing there hypocrisy, why would the religious authority need baptism and confession. John goes on to warn them not to take lightly the baptism and the confession as they do with everything else hiding behind there heritage as sons of Abraham and therefor Gods chosen people he goes as far as to say that God could raise up sons of abraham for the rocks around them. They are cautioned to bear fruit of there honest relationship with God. He tells them that an ax is already laid at the base of every tree an all that do not bare good fruit will be cut down and burned. As I thought about the whole statement I could not help feeling how heavy and sever it was but true and even though it was said to them how it so easily relates to me and my life. Do I hold myself up at times and think me more worthy than others, do I sometimes put on a show of righteousness to have others think highly of me, do I take for granted or not consider the seriousness of repentance. At different times in my life I have done everything that John is calling the Pharisees and Sadducees out for doing and I need to heed his warning in my own life I know that there is alot more to this section and to the chapters that I read but that was what I felt was heaviest on my heart to share about. Even if it’s just between me and Jesus.
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- November 15, 2010 / 4:25 pm