Tuesday, March 22, 2022
29-32 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You build granite tombs for your prophets and marble monuments for your saints. And you say that if you had lived in the days of your ancestors, no blood would have been on your hands. You protest too much! You’re cut from the same cloth as those murderers, and daily add to the death count.
33-34 “Snakes! Cold-blooded sneaks! Do you think you can worm your way out of this? Never have to pay the piper? It’s on account of people like you that I send prophets and wise guides and scholars generation after generation—and generation after generation, you treat them like dirt, greeting them with lynch mobs, hounding them with abuse.
35-36 “You can’t squirm out of this: Every drop of righteous blood ever spilled on this earth, beginning with the blood of that good man Abel right down to the blood of Zechariah, Barachiah’s son, whom you murdered at his prayers, is on your head. All this, I’m telling you, is coming down on you, on your generation.
-Matthew 23:29-36 The Message
Verse 29: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,
Verse 30: and you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
Verse 31: So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
Verse 32: Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.
Verse 33: You snakes, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
Verse 34: “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,
Verse 35: so that upon you will fall the guilt of all the righteous bloodshed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
Verse 35 study: Jesus gave a brief history of all the Old Testament martyrdom. Abel was the first in Genesis 4; Zechariah was the last mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, ending with 2 Chronicles. Zechariah is an example of a man of God who was killed by those who claimed to be God’s people.
20 Then the Spirit of God covered Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest like clothing; and he stood above the people and said to them, “This is what God has said, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the Lord and do not prosper? Because you have abandoned the Lord, He has also abandoned you.’” 21 So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the house of the Lord. -2 Chronicles 24:20-21 NASB
Verse 36: Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
Verses 34-36 studies: These were scribes, wise men, and prophets that may have been leaders in the early church who were persecuted, scourged, and killed, just as Jesus predicted. The generation of Jesus’ people said they would not act as their fathers did in killing prophets God sent to them (23:30),
and you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’Matthew 23:30 NASB
but they were about to kill the Messiah himself and his faithful followers. They eventually became guilty of all righteous bloodshed through centuries.