“When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to the place of his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. And don’t presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Even now the ax is ready to strike the root of the trees! Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:7–10, HCSB)
Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. Serving God often means speaking truth to people that don’t want to hear it. That truth can cause us to back down or back away from the declaration. We are afraid of what people will think of us or what they might do to us.
Yet, it is God who sends us to that place to proclaim that message to that crowd. He knows what the results are going to be. He knows who will respond and who will reject the proclamation of life and hope. And truly, that’s above our pay grade. We are simply called to “go and tell” and leave the results up to the Lord.
Boldly speaking for God is a characteristic of a true servant leader of King Jesus. Those who know their Master well know that He is King of kings and Lord of lords. No one is more powerful or has the ability to command life and light like He does. We rest assured that we do not follow “a god.” We follow THE God!
And, so, we are able to stand as John did and confront those religious folk who think they are too good to humble themselves and submit to the method of God. While those we speak to may have power, we have nothing to fear. As Jesus reassured us, “Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28, HCSB) This is the real test of our servant leadership … the one we fear is the one we truly serve.
And so, today, we have a choice before us. Will we go and tell our family, friends, loved ones the message of our King? And, yes, even those religious ones who think they are too good for repentance?
Willing Worker Wednesdays are dedicated to explaining the core realities of servant leadership – the Biblical principles and methods used by God’s faithful people throughout time. They further reflect the lifestyle of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords as He walked on this earth announcing the Kingdom of God had arrived. These brief lessons are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his extensive ministry within the local church, in higher education, in church consulting and as a Biblical author and leader. He welcomes your comments below.