Sunday, January 3, 2010

daily text 1/3

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010
"You offspring of vipers, who has intimated to you to flee from the coming wrath?" (Matthew 3:7)

Among those coming to see John the Baptist were self-righteous Jewish religious leaders who felt no need to repent. They looked down on the common people who were getting baptized in symbol of repentance. Fearlessly, John exposed those hypocritical leaders, telling them to “produce fruit that befits repentance.” (Matthew 3:8) In today’s text, John was not speaking of a physical flight. He was warning of a coming judgment, a day of wrath; and he put the religious leaders on notice that if they were to escape during that day, they would need to produce fruit that proved their repentance. Later, Jesus fearlessly denounced the religious leaders—their murderous attitude showed that their real father was the Devil. (John 8:44) Strengthening John’s earlier warning, Jesus called them “offspring of vipers” and asked: “How are you to flee from the judgment of Gehenna?”—Matthew 23:33
(Watchtower issue: 06/15/08, 1:2, 3)