Here’s the bottom line: God sees. In fact, everyone around you sees. John’s message was for each person to turn from wrong toward the Lord. Instead, the religious leaders demonstrated hypocrisy because they were above everyone else. John called them on it.
5 People went out to [John] from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
John the Baptist had no time for hypocrisy. When the Pharisees and Sadducees came out to see him at the Jordan River, he confronted them. You see, their behaviour didn’t match their teaching. That’s the problem.
When you say one thing but your life reflects another, people notice. The public knew what these religious leaders were like. Everyone knew. John called it like it was.
They were so bad that instead of changing their ways, they would fall back on their ancestry. They would say, “Don’t question us, we have Abraham as our father.” Abraham was their get-out-of-jail-free card.
John told them the truth: God can raise up children of Abraham from the rocks on the ground. You are not off the hook because you are from the line of Abraham.
John said here’s the bottom line. “Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” What kind of fruit do you produce? Does your life reflect the teaching of God, or do you look for loopholes to get around the truth.
God sees. In fact, everyone around you sees. John’s message was for each person to turn from wrong toward the Lord. Let’s all do that…