“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?" John demands to know from Sadducees and Pharisees who come to Jordan where John is baptizing people in chapter 3 of Mathew's Gopel. The Pharisees and Sadducees must have been stunned and angered by John's question. The Pharisees observed the law, fasted and went to the Temple. The Sadducees were the priests. Now a crazy man dressed in camel hair was calling them "vipers" in front of the crowd of people receiving baptism. Why?
Perhaps thinking of the Pharisees and Sadduccees as evil or bad makes it easier to avoid seeing in them what is also in ourselves. How often do we think we are holier than someone else, take our seat in one of the front pews, listen to the Gospel message, but forget the words we heard as soon as we leave Church?