Verses 19-23 Sets up the passage for Jesus moving from Egypt to Nazareth.
Chapter 3:4 "Now John himself was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
3:7 "But when he saw the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"
3:10 b "....therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is thrown into the fire."
I have always been fascinated with narrative. Jesus was the ultimate storyteller. What better book to jump back into Scripture reading than Matthew? The stage has been set. A very dramatic birth, complete with a diverse cast of characters, has taken place. And then, the drama unfolds. Herod, unwilling to share his throne, calls for the baby's execution. An angel warns Joseph and they hide out in Egypt until they are told to go to Nazareth.
Here in the woods, we find John. Disheveled, stinky, eating bugs- the kind of man I would try to pepper spray if he came near me.
Would I have overlooked John? Would I have ignored his message because of the packaging? Have I missed other messages from God because they came from messengers younger than me or covered in tattoos?
The Pharisees come to the woods. Probably to size up their competition. And John is unafraid. He knows their political pull, he is aware of their prominence and power, and HE DOES NOT CARE.
Could I be so bold?
The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, ect... What in my life is not bearing fruit? This one hurts. It cuts me to the core, right in the heart of my tv-watching, fb posting, time wasting soul. I know, what I watch, and what I read will need an overhaul. If it does not encourage fruit-bearing, it needs to be sheared. Sometimes, truth, hurts.