Matthew 3:9 NASB
Do not suppose that you can say to yourselves,
We have Abraham for our father;
for I say to you that from these stones
God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
This view of the religious leaders appears to have been a widespread idea (cf. John 8:33-39).
The scribes taught that the merit of the patriarchs and especially of Abraham constituted a treasure from which every Israelite could draw to replenish his incomplete righteousness.
But John rejected these ideas, saying that descent from Abraham could not replace repentance and good works.
Just as God cut Israel out of the rock of Abraham (Isaiah 51:1), so He is still able to raise up children to Abraham from stones.
The point is not to belong to the natural race of Abraham, but to belong to the spiritual race of Abraham through faith and repentance (cf. Romans 9:7-8; Galatians 4:21-31).
It is therefore possible that the stones are an image of the pagans.
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