“When John the Baptist saw the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, John said unto them, ‘O generation of vipers, who warned you to flee the wrath to come'”? (Matthew 3:7).
There was a special generation after many years in Israel without prophets and the word of the Lord; in that generation there arose from among the people two righteous souls; namely, the Prophet, John the Baptist, and the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. What a generation that was in shaping the history of the world.
Generation: (Gr. Gennema from Gennao): Offspring, produce, fruit, procreation of the parent
Two righteous, sent of God into the world in a generation of vipers; into a world of apostate religion, an Idumean king on the throne in Jerusalem, appointed by Roman rule under a Caesar who considered himself a god. In this world the religious leaders were corrupt, the king was living in adultery and the Romans ruled with ruthless authority.
Two righteous, whose earthly lives were ended with beheading and crucifixion. The vipers strike with vicious revenge upon those who dare to challenge them. “O generation of vipers, how can you being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). Sayings like that do not stir repentance, but retribution. “You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell”? (Matthew 23:33). Challenging this system with words of rebuke speak truth to power, but the consequences may be fatal.
Two righteous, in the midst of their generation changed the world. The Prophet baptized the people unto repentance; and the Messiah’s sacrificial death ushered in the Kingdom of God.
In this Kingdom the leaders serve in holy reverence to the King, Who rules with a Scepter of Righteousness, and is the Son of God (see Hebrews 1:8). He speaks to the vipers in His wrath and rules over them in His sore displeasure (cf. Psalms 2:5). This King commands with authority and all are subject to Him.
“This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O Jacob. Selah” (Psalms 24:6).
We now are the new generation with new fruit, new offspring, new produce. We have a Gospel to share with the Nations. We have Truth to speak to power. We have the authority of Christ (cf. Matthew 28:18). We have been given the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:8). This new generation must now contend with the vipers of our day and overcome them. “To him who overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am now seated with My Father in His Throne” (Revelation 3:21). “He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and He shall by My son” (Revelation 21:7).
In the vision given the Apostle John there was a great dragon, the old serpent, called the Devil and Satan “who deceived the whole world and he was cast out” (Revelation 12:9). This viper, called the “accuser of the Brethren” was cast down. “Then John heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation and strength, and the Kingdom of our God and the Power of His Christ'” (Revelation 12:10).
“And they overcame (the Viper) by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).