Morning Reading for October 17

Matthew 23:34-39
Suggested further reading: Luke 10:1-16

These verses form a conclusion to our Lord's address on the scribes and Pharisees. We learn that God takes notice of the treatment which his messengers and ministers receive and will one day pay it back. The Jews as a nation had often given the servants of God most shameful usage. They had often dealt with them as enemies because they told them the truth. Some they had persecuted, some they had scourged and some they had even killed (v. 34). They thought perhaps that no account would be required of their conduct. But our Lord tells them they are all mistaken. There was an eye that saw their actions. There was a hand that registered all the innocent blood they shed in the books of everlasting remembrance. The dying words of Zacharias would be found after eight hundred and fifty years not to have fallen to the ground (2 Chron. 24:22). Yet a few years and there would be such an inquisition for blood at Jerusalem as the world had never seen. The holy city would be destroyed. The nation which had murdered and destroyed so many prophets would itself be wasted by famine, pestilence and the sword. And even those that escaped would be scattered to the four winds and become fugitives. Well might our Lord speak as he did! (v. 36).

It is good for us to mark this lesson well. We are too apt to think that `bygones are bygones' and that things which to us are past and done and old will never be raked up again. But we forget that with God one day is as a thousand years and that the events of a thousand years ago are as fresh in his sight as the events of this very hour. God will require an account of the treatment of his saints — all in every age. The world will yet see that God judges righteously (Ps. 58:11).

Present persecutors should know that all who injure, ridicule, mock or slander others on account of religion commit a great sin. Christ takes notice of everyone who persecutes his neighbour because he is better than himself, or because he prays, reads his Bible and thinks about his soul (Zech. 2:8).

For meditation: As pains in the body send signals to the brain, so pains in Christ's body send messages to the Head.

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ