Friday, July 25, 2008

Generation of Vipers

I always wondered just what that phrase meant and why it was so bad. John the Baptist used it to refer to the Pharisees and Saducees who came to his baptisms but wouldn’t be baptized themselves. (Matt. 3:7) and Christ used it when He was telling off the Pharisees for their hypocrisy:
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33)
Interestingly enough, I ran across a Youtube video of a comedian—Brad Stine—who threw just enough light on the matter that I was able to figure the rest of it out.

He pointed out that our culture for some reason seems to like to insult people by calling them the son of a dog--no, he did not say the real phrase--and Christ called certain people sons of a snake. Instantly I remembered that phrase Christ used—“generation of vipers”.

It flashed through my mind like lightning that when Christ calls people a “generation of vipers” (sons of a snake), He didn’t mean just any old snake. He meant THE snake. The snake from the Garden of Eden. Satan.

He was calling them children of the devil. A generation of devils. That’s the worst thing that Christ could call them, and that's exactly what they were. They were a generation that tempted people to do evil, just like Satan does.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:15)
This when they were supposed to be a good influence.

Do any of our words or deeds tempt others to do evil? How good is our example? Is there anything we try to rationalize and justify as being "not that bad" and then invite others to do it too?