hypocrites and heretics

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ... You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape ... I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute ... [Matthew 23:29,33,34 ESV]

In this, the last of the seven woes, Jesus wraps up his condemnation of the leaders.
As he decries their heinous acts he ties them to those of past religious leaders.
And he also alludes to the coming destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD.

Interesting how he uses the phrase "brood of vipers".
This was the name that John the Baptist used to describe these religious leaders.
He most certainly had John on his mind and the way that they rejected his message.

Reminds me of how the messages of a Martin Luther were once rejected.
And in America, Martin Luther King Jr was celebrated by som only after he died.
Prophets are generally not accepted because they challenge the status quo.

Also notable is the way that many in our day are spoken ill of and treated as heretics.
These are labelled that way simply because they do not pass certain tests of orthodoxy.
Sometimes I think that all that has changed is what is lawful to do with 'heretics'.

Open up my ears and eyes Lord so that I do not reject the messages of your prophets.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.

1 comment:

  1. I think one of the most dangerous things we can do when reading these kinds of passages is think about how they apply to others and not to ourselves as well.

    Great thoughts!


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