He knew the confronting nature of his message.
After generations of bare survival, this nation still yearned for the recovery of their rich identity – but before they would see deliverance from their oppressors, they would need to see the need for deliverance from themselves.
This was the message of the unsophisticated cousin of Jesus, standing knee-deep in the water, eager to reveal the hypocrisy of those looking to ease their conscience in the river Jordan.
“This is not a popularity contest” he thought to himself as the crowd pressed in around the riverbank.
So, motioning for attention, he spoke out: “You brood of snakes!”