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Matthew 3:7-8. You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance.
John the Baptist is one of my favorite people in the Bible. I don’t love him just because he is the very definition of eccentricity with his camel’s hair shirt fashions and bug-infested cuisine. I admire him for his courage. He never sucks up to the crowd. It’s a bold speaker who begins by calling his audience a brood of vipers. They don’t teach you to preach that way in seminary, I assure you!
But here’s what I really love about John the Baptist. He spent his entire life pointing to another. It wasn’t about him. It was about Jesus. Our me-first culture could learn a thing or two from him. Lord knows, I have plenty to study in this great prophet.
John is telling everyone that status doesn’t matter. Past sins don’t matter. All that matters is a willingness to turn, to be converted. We can all change, and it’s never too soon or too late. That’s a pretty good message for this Advent season. It’s never too soon or too late.