I don’t get it. An obviously orthodox Jewish family experiences a miracle, but the mom credits her conversation with the anesthesiologist – 100% – for her life today. So blind.
Fast forward to the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar’s administration—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea and it was split into four jurisdictions: Herod was over Galilee; his brother Philip was over Iturea and Traconitis; and Lysanias was over Abilene. The highest ranking priests among the Jews were Annas and Caiaphas. Zechariah and Elizabeth’s son John had also grown up and become a spiritual powerhouse. He was living in the wilderness as an ascetic recluse. He dressed like a caveman in camel’s hair tied on with a leather belt. He subsisted on honey and locusts.
The ancient prophet Isaiah had predicted: “There will be a voice in the wilderness that comes first to set the scene for God’s representative. He’ll clear the path for him; fill in the pot holes, level the ground. He’ll straighten out the winding road and smooth out the rough road so that it will be easy to get a clear view of God’s plan to salvage humanity.” This was John.
In due time, God gave John the spiritual gift of being able to speak on his behalf. Then John went all around the Jordan River area speaking to whoever would listen about changing their evil ways and making it official with the symbolic act of ablution. People came out from Jerusalem and all over Judea and the Jordan River area to confess their wrongdoings to him and allow him to dunk them in the Jordan River as a symbol of being washed clean.
John minced no words with the crowds of people who came to him, calling them a brood of snakes. [Snakes hatch from eggs like chickens hatch from eggs, so as a bunch of chicks is a brood of chicks, a bunch of snakes is a brood of snakes.] He said, “Who warned you to get right with God? If you’re going to come out here and say you’re sorry for all the things you’ve done wrong, you need to live like you’re actually sorry. Don’t think you can fall back on lineage, copping the “Abraham is my great, great-grandfather” line. See these rocks? God can make grandchildren for Abraham out of these rocks if he wants. God is ready to prune this family tree of yours and any branch that isn’t producing fruit is going to be cut off and used for firewood.”
“How do you suggest we live?” the people asked.
“All those extra clothes in your closet—give them away. All that food you waste—feed the hungry instead.”
Government workers had showed up to be dunked by John. They asked, “What about us, what should we do differently?”
“Don’t pad your pockets with the public’s money.”
Some Roman soldiers who had ventured out asked, “And what about us?”
He replied, “Be happy with what you get paid instead of expecting people to pay you bribes. And don’t bring people up on false charges.”