Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us through your Word to better serve you. Amen.
The here and now
30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors…
Oh my God! I thought to myself, I am sounding like my father. Am I becoming my father (or mother)? I don’t know when it was, but when I was younger, I swore I would not make the same mistakes as my parents. But one day I began to see that indeed some of my actions and my words seemed very familiar…I seemed to be somehow acting the same way that I swore I would never do. How humbling! How discouraging!
Today we see Jesus chastising the Jewish leaders for professing that they were changed and yet still they acted just like their ancestors who killed God’s prophets. Our devotion writer reminds us that hindsight is 20/20 and looking back; “we can see mistakes our parents and grandparents made and feel certain we surely would not have done so…But we live in the here and now. Our actions are determined by the knowledge we have today, not the knowledge that will come to us later. Even when we make decisions based upon prayerful consideration, we may face unpleasant consequences. And we may have to forgive ourselves later if we feel we didn’t make the best choices.
Knowing this, I try hard to look at my motives and visualize how I might act differently if Jesus came today. Or, how I might receive His prophets who He sends to tell me what I do wrong. Sometimes I see that I might be acting like a Pharisee in reaction to changes, or warnings that affect my faith. God help me to see His purposes and His will.
We are the sum of our experiences. We respond the way we have been taught even from our youth. It is easy to make mistakes because we have lived them before and unless we are careful we will repeat them.
Our devotion writer declares; “As we face decisions, it is a comfort to know that God is with us and that ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ (Hebrews 13:8)?
Prayer: “Lord Jesus, be with me today as I make choices and decisions. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of 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 Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. 33 You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.