"As a result [of honoring their ancestors who killed the prophets]
, this generation will be held responsible for the murder of all God's prophets from the creation of the world — from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, it will certainly be charged against this generation."
— Luke 11:50-51 NLT
Wow! Jesus' judgment on these hypocritical religious leaders is severe. Why is his pronouncement so harsh? How can he say such things? I believe there are three reasons why Jesus' words are so strong:
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God (who is greater than the prophets and great souls of the past), came to the people, and they will murder him to protect their religion.
- Jesus wanted them to realize how utterly flawed their approach to religion had become.
- Jesus wanted us to see how horrible protecting our religious preconceptions can be, rather than being shaped by the truth.
- Jesus confronted them with idolizing the past without recognizing their connection to the sins of the past.
His words were sharp and harsh. However, they were true and needed, then, as well as now!
Father, I am convicted of how easily I can trade my vibrant faith in you for a flawed and self-protecting "religiousness." Please call me away from any false motives, pretenses, and convictions so that I can serve you with an undivided heart. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.