29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started! 33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation. 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
This passage gives an account of Jesus rebuking the religious scholars and Pharisees, highlighting their hypocrisy, misuse of the law and stubbornness. In verses 37-39, Jesus expresses His desire for the people of Israel to come to Him for safety, however they wouldn’t allow Jesus to ‘gather His children’ (vs 37) and follow Him.
I am reminded when reading this, of the importance of living authentic lives of faith that truly reflect God and Who He is. The scholars and Pharisees were hypocrites and gave false impressions of God, acting out of pride and their own opinions. We are called to display Christ for Who He is before others, and that comes from a place of knowing God, being in relationship with Him, and learning from Him.
Lord God, please help me today to reflect your love, kindness and truth to others. May people see You in the choices I make, so that You may be glorified. In Jesus’ Name.
Written by Laura Samperi