John the Baptist and the Religious Leaders (Matthew 3:7-12)

The Pharisees and Sadducees went to watch John the Baptist as he was baptizing people.  When John the Baptist saw the religious leaders, he addressed them by saying:

You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.  And do not presume 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.  Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees.  Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. (ESV)

There are several things that struck me about the statements made by John the Baptist:

  • He spoke his mind.  John the Baptist didn’t care if the religious leaders were powerful or if they were wealthy.  He told them the truth.
  • Actions speak louder than words.  I think this is a message we all need to remember.  It’s easy to post about peace, love conquering hate, or helping your fellow man.  However, social media post will not change the world.  It takes action to change the world.
  • John the Baptist also humbled himself in his sermon.  He spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ and declared himself unworthy to even carry the shoes of the savior.

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2 thoughts on “John the Baptist and the Religious Leaders (Matthew 3:7-12)

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