Thought for the Day: I’m backing up a few verses from yesterday as I often slide right past these words. One moment we’re talking about good trees producing good fruit, and the next moment it appears as if Jesus is suggesting we are children of snakes. He’s got my attention!
Now I don’t know the mind of Jesus, but from what I glean from scripture, I see him using sarcasm, irony, and the occasional shocking phrase to awaken anyone who was dozing off. I think the snake thing is Jesus grabbing the attention of his listeners. John the Baptist used similar language early in the Gospel, yet in each case this rather stinging language was focused on specific folks. Are we to simply say, “Well thank goodness he’s not talking to us!” Or should we occasionally allow his confrontational language to grab our attention? Grace always needs to be present, but occasionally grace can shake us up if we allow it to do so. At the end of the day, it is still grace – God’s unmerited love – yet grace is given with the hope of transformation. I’m pretty certain there have been moments when I’ve needed a system shock to awaken me to a little snake-like behavior within my own life.
Prayer: I want to produce good fruit, O Giver of Grace, but snakes don’t produce fruit…only more snakes. I know my prayer is mixing metaphors, but wherever I need to be awakened to something in my life that is not like Jesus, I ask that you use whatever means to do so. Amen.
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