Calling all Vipers!
Some people love snakes, they'd even go so far as too say they're cute. More people would likey not be fans (to those I say sorry for the blog image), including John the Baptist. If you take a moment and read Matthew 3: you'll quickly summize that his reference to the Pharisee's and Saducee's as a "Brood of Vipers" was not meant to be a compliment. So, either John had terrible social skills in making new friends, or, he had another purpose for calling out the religious elite of his day.
That "other purpose" was to serve fair warning. "Get ready to be baptized with the Holy Sprit & Fire, get ready to have everything rearranged.... and above all, don't pretend like you don't need a makeover, you brood of vipers." Think about the crowd who shows up to hear John's words... they are temple going, law readers who can't imagine they need to change. They're God's people, the "insiders" who've come to watch the "outsiders" get washed.
John's warning should resonate with us (God's people, the insiders, the Vipers in some cases) today. Get ready... the Holy Spirit has moved in and wants to make changes in our lives, make us more loving, more patient, more kind. Get ready to be made new; that's today's Good News!