28th Week in Ord. Time, Thursday – 14th October 2021 — Gospel: Lk 11,47-54
Children of the Rebellious Spirit
The first recorded martyrdom in the Old Testament is Abel, because his righteousness convicted his brother of his evil deeds (Gen 4,1-15). In the arrangement of the books in the Hebrew Bible, second Chronicles was the last book in the Jewish order. In it, Zechariah was the last prophet to be killed (1 Chr 24,21). Therefore, Jesus ran the entire list of martyrs from the two book ends of the Old Testament, when he mentioned Abel and Zechariah. The blood of all the righteous men who were martyred in the Old Testament would be charged against this current wicked generation, because they rejected God’s revealed wisdom about their sin. As Jesus called out their sin, He hoped that it would stimulate them to reflection and repentance. Instead, as children of Adam and Eve, the initiators of mankind’s rebellion against God, they expressed rebellious spirit. As Jesus uttered these words, He did not suggest that they were personally responsible for killing the Old Testament prophets, rather He knew well that the ultimate crime of the living generation would be the crucifixion of the Son of God. It was because they would murder Him that the blood of all previous persecutions of men of God would fall upon them. This may point to the awful judgment on Jerusalem in 70 AD or it may also include the final judgment.