John the Baptist is preaching in the wilderness and baptizing people. Jesus comes out to meet John and the Pharisees also come out. Matthew reports the following scene,
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, the denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. (Matthew 3:7-9)
I want to focus on one phrase God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Most of the people who are reading this are Gentiles. We were the outsiders. We were the minorities. We were the outcasts. We were outside of the covenant.
However, a shift has occurred. For most of us are no longer the minority. We are no longer outcasts. Most of us have grown up with a church within just a few miles from our home. Many of us grew up within the covenant.
But the weight of our previous state is lost. We don’t understand the blessings we have. We don’t understand the significance of what’s happened. Paul says the wild branches have been grafted into the cultured olive tree (Romans 11).
In reality, Christ did make sons of God out of stone. Our hearts were hardened. We were far off and outside of the covenant blessings. But Christ has brought us close and made salvation available for all. If Christ had not come we would still be in a state of utter ruin. Our hearts would still be hardened. We would be dead in our trespasses.
Just let that sink in.