Reflecting on Matthew 3: 1-12
Boy, that John the Baptist could turn a phrase. Can you imagine being some of the Religious Elite of Jerusalem, making the long trip out to the desert to receive a baptism of repentance from the famous Elijah figure, and being greeted with, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?”
They might have heard of his austere diet, and his painful clothing of camel’s hair, but why was he choosing to single THEM out for verbal abuse? True, they’d been a little nervous lately about his warnings about good fruit as evidence of redemption, but they never dreamed, until this moment, that their perfect pedigree wasn’t enough to get the Baptist to show some respect.
I think of those Pharisees and Sadducees a lot. I can just see myself, lording it over the worshipers in the synagogue, because I had the good sense to be born in the right part of the world, from the right family, and at the right time in history.
And oh, what a shock to hear the Baptist say, “You! What are you doing out here? Did you finally realize that someone else might have something to teach the world about the One who is to come?’
The answer, gratefully, is YES. There is someone in every house, on every corner, who has life-changing things to teach me about Jesus. And I bless and thank, every day in prayer, those who came before me, radiating the Good News.
The Baptist has come to each of us, through parents, teachers, religious figures, and friends. Blessed be they forever. And blessed be we who recognize that the kingdom of God is at hand.
Who are the people who have drawn you closer to Christ?
Kathy McGovern ©2022