11/7 Matthew 3:8-9

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.

These are the words of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, whom God sent to prepare the way for Jesus. It had been centuries since the Jews had seen a real prophet of God. His message was simple. They should all repent of their ways and prepare for the coming of the Messiah. Jews flocked into the wilderness to be baptized by John.

When the religious leaders came to see John, they were shocked to hear him call them a family of baby snakes. He told them that they needed to demonstrate with their lives that they had indeed repented. That is true for all of us. It is one thing to tell God we are sorry for our ways, but another thing to actually change our ways. Just because we are involved in religious activities and are respected as being religious holds no weight with God.

Some rabbis taught that all children of Abraham were destined to be in heaven. Jesus and John the Baptist both made it very clear that this was not the case. Each person has to truly repent, which would result in a changed life. The meaning of "a child of Abraham" is one who lives by the example of faith that Abraham set.

Consider: You may think you are too bad to come to Jesus and be His disciple. The real problem lies with those who think they are too good. If God can raise up a stone to be a child of God, He will have no problem doing the same with you. All He asks is that you repent and let Him change your life. Is your heart as hard as a stone? Perhaps that is what John was referring to.