Week of October 15 - Day 2

Day 2 Read: Matthew 3:7-10

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Reflect: What characterizes the fruit Jesus is looking for?

Consider: Although Jeremiah 46:22 speaks of men who go into the forest to chop down trees, the figure of the axe that is laid to the root of the trees is best understood as drawn from the experience of either a gardener or a person who takes care of grapevines. The trees referred to here are useful trees or grapevines from which one could expect to gather good fruit.[1]

Respond: Why do Christians, even though we are saved, need to live a lifestyle of repenting daily? According to verse 10, what is the result of repentance? How did the crowds miss the point that saving faith leads to serving faith? What excuse did they have for not living for and serving God?

 

[1] Barclay Moon Newman and Philip C. Stine, A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1992), 66.