Snakes

Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to the place where John was baptizing people. When John saw them he said to them: “You are all snakes! Who warned you to run away from God’s anger that is coming? You must do the things that show that you have really changed your hearts and lives. And don’t think that you can boast and say to yourselves, ‘Abraham is our father.’ I tell you that God could make children for Abraham from these rocks here. The ax is now ready to cut down the trees. Every tree that does not make good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. – Matthew 3:7-10

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Preparing the Way

John the Baptizer is the one that Isaiah the prophet was talking about. Isaiah said: “There is a person shouting in the desert: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight.'” John’s clothes were made from camel’s hair. John had a leather belt around his waist. For food, John ate locusts and wild honey. – Matthew 3:3-4

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Divine Partnership

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream. This happened while Joseph was in Egypt. The angel said, “Get up! Take the baby and his mother and go to Israel. The people that were trying to kill the baby are now dead.” So Joseph took the baby and the baby’s mother and went to Israel. But Joseph heard that Archelaus was now king in Judea. Archelaus became king when his father Herod died. So Joseph was afraid to go there. Joseph was warned in a dream. So Joseph left there and went to the area of Galilee. Joseph went to a town called Nazareth and lived there. And so the thing happened that God said through the prophets. God said that {the Christ} would be called a Nazarene. – Matthew 2:19-23

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Slaying the Innocents

Herod saw that the wise men had fooled him. Herod was very, very angry. So Herod gave an order to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and in all the area around Bethlehem. Herod had learned from the wise men the time {the baby was born}. It was now two years from that time. So Herod said to kill all the boys that were two years old and younger. So the thing God said through the prophet Jeremiah happened: “A sound was heard in Ramah. It was bitter crying and much sadness. Rachel cries for her children; and she cannot be comforted, because her children are dead.” – Matthew 2:16-18

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