The Question of the Day helps prepare you for next Sunday’s focus text in worship. These questions are posted here each day offering an opportunity for discussion. (Just click in the title of this post and you will be taken to the discussion window.) Try it out for a week and see how Jesus will use your time of pondering upon God’s word to deepen your faith.
Today’s question is: The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the religious rock stars of their time. Why would John have such strong words for them?
This week’s text for the Second Sunday of Advent : Matthew 3:1-12 (NRSV)
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.’?”
4Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit worthy of repentance. 9Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”