11-12"I'm baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I'm a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he'll put out with the trash to be burned." (The Message)
It's funny he calls them 'snakes'. I mean, these guys were the scholars. They wrote the books on religion. The Old Testament was memorized by them. The first mention of a snake...well if you can remember it, you'll realise he wasn't complimenting them on their cunning.
It seems the Leaders thought that their lineage got them into God's good books no matter what their thoughts and attitudes were. John threw that idea out.
It's about your heart, not your family tree.
John also mentions the Band who he is opening for..."I'm baptising everyone so that your hearts will be right towards God. But coming up next...one more powerful - and great...I couldn't even carry his Crocs...He's the Real Deal.... He'll baptise you with the Living Presence of God, God who is a Consuming Fire. He will clear up who is God's...and who is not!"
These passages whet your appetite for the upcoming Event. They seem to splash paint onto a canvas and reveal the outlines of a picture. A picture that makes you gasp, and look closer. There's more to be revealed...