A parable of surprise in the Kingdom of God. The text borrow some from the Jerusalem Bible’s Gospel according to Matthew, which I was reading at the time. Written in Birmingham, AL in June 2013.
In due course, John the Baptist appeared; he preached in the wilderness of Judaea and this was his message:
“Repent! Turn around! The Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand!”
Jerusalem and all Judaea and the whole Jordan district made their way to him, and as they were baptized by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. But when he saw a number of Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers, who warned you to fly from the retribution that is coming?”
He continued to lecture them on the things of God as another group of believers look on. They said to each other, “What a great thing God is doing through John. Let us join him in it.”
The following day, a number of Pharisees and Sadducees came for baptism. The believers said to them, “Brood of vipers, who warned you to fly from the retribution that is coming?”
Before they could speak further, they answered, “We have heard the things of God from John and wish to be baptized.”
The believers turned around on the bank to look at John who stood in the water. They kept their backs to the inquiring Pharisees and Sadducees to keep the discussion private. John said to them, “Repent! Turn around! The Kingdom of Heaven is right behind you!”