Brood Of Vipers!
December 14, 2013
“You brood of vipers!” This was the term both Jesus and John the Baptist used on a particular group of people. (Mt. 3:7 & 23:33) And who belonged to that group? They were those who thought they knew all about God’s ways and Word. They were those who believed this so confidently that they had set themselves up as teachers and leaders who lorded it over others. They were the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the teachers of the law.
Why did John consider this group to be vipers? We see that it was because these men did not produce good fruit. Good fruit is revealed as that produced when a person walks repentant of sin. However, every person who does not walk this path of freedom from sin, even if he claims to belong to God and adhere to Christ’s Gospel, will be cut down and thrown into Hell. (Mt. 3:7-10)
Jesus’ rebuke is even more scathing. He calls this group “blind guides”, blind fools”, “blind men”, “blind Pharisee”, “you hypocrites”, and “you snakes”. (Mt. ch. 23) He likens them to whitewashed tombs that look beautiful outwardly, but stink inside from all their hypocrisy and wickedness. (v. 27,28) Jesus warns them that they head toward being condemned to Hell. (v. 33)
And why wouldn’t Christ condemn them? They are full of filth and refuse to be washed of it. Mocking righteousness, they claim to be righteous before God without actually being so! Even though God’s Word continually commands that everyone be holy in all conduct (1 Peter 1:14,15 & 4:1,2), word (Mt. 12:36,37 // Eph. 4:29), and thought! (Mt. 5:27-30 // Phil. 4:8)
Such people are like those who say, “Quit confronting us with God’s Word! We are the temple of the Lord already and need not be convicted about anything.” (See Isa. 30:9-11 and Amos 7:13) They are like those who want to see miracles performed (Mt. 12:38) but who then deny that they come from God. (9:34) They are like those who repeatedly ask trick questions in order to justify themselves (their sin and their beliefs) and so as to discredit the teachings of true servants of Christ. (12:10) They are like those who care more about their preservation of power and pride, than of someone suffering. (v. 9-14) This is why they burn with hostility toward anyone who challenges their status quo. (v. 14) They are like those who ask Jesus to leave their midst when they see Him setting men free, all because it upsets their livelihood. (8:28-34)
Such men are evil. No wonder the Spirit of God calls them vipers.