“Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure. I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
[The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]
It seems that Jesus is addressing the religious authorities with these stern words. If we back up a few verses, we see that the people around Jesus are excitedly responding to his healing of a person, and are wondering aloud, “Can this be the Messiah?” This is threatening to the religious authorities, and Jesus pushes deeper into their discomfort, suggesting that they are bad trees with rotten fruit, based on the harmful language they use to try to retain their power and privilege.
Why would these stern words be included in this Advent movement?