Matthew 23:35-36 (Sinning Against So Great a Light)

Recall the enormity of the crimes committed by the likes of the scribes and Pharisees against Jesus that He says would allow all the righteous blood shed on the earth to be charged against them.  For in sinning against the greater light of Christ they demonstrated by their actions what they would do in lesser circumstances.  In this regard, consider how much greater revelation people living today have from the light of the completed canon of Scripture that not only includes the articulated and composed accounts of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels (that not even the scribes and Pharisees had available to them), but also the implications of those accounts expounded in the rest of the New Testament—in addition to almost 2000 years of Church history where those principles have been even further expounded in the lives of countless saints led by the Holy Spirit of God.  Therefore, will not those who sin against this even greater light that we have in our own day and persecute God’s righteous people be just as guilty as the scribes and Pharisees, and even more so, in light of all the additional righteous blood that has been shed since then?  Cf. Heb 2:1-3.  Considering the even greater light that we now have than did the scribes and Pharisees, what does their example teach us about our own responsibility and culpability for the things we have been taught?  Cf. 1Co 11:23,27-29 and recall the culpability of Judas for the light that he had.  What do these things help us to understand about what Jesus means by “this generation” against whom all the righteous blood shed on the earth shall be charged (Luk 11:50)?  Cf. Mat 12:39-45, 16:4, 17:17, 24:34, Act 2:40, Phi 2:15.  Shall those who demonstrate themselves by their lifestyle choices to be a part of that wicked and adulterous generation suppose they shall be any less culpable than the scribes and Pharisees for all the blood of the righteous that has been shed by the world system of which they are a part?

Consider again Jesus’ profound statement that by sinning against the light of Christ the scribes and Pharisees would be held accountable for all the righteous blood shed on the earth till that time, to the extent that they were just as guilty of murdering Zechariah hundreds of years earlier as if they were there and had “pulled the trigger” themselves.  What does this teach us about God’s ability to judge what a person would do in a given circumstance, even if the person has not actually had the opportunity to do it?  I.e., is He not able to charge all the righteous blood shed on the earth to individuals because, on the basis of what they have done in sinning against so great a light He knows what they would do in even lesser circumstances?  Is that unfair?  Do not mortgage companies and employers perform credit and background checks to determine what people would do in given circumstances based on their past record, and then make judgments based upon that information?  Therefore, is God, who has perfect understanding of what is in a person’s heart (cf. Pro 20:27), being unfair to charge against that person lesser crimes that He knows they would also commit in similar circumstances based upon the multitude of choices they have made over their lifetime in a multitude of situations?  I.e., is God not just in charging against a person what he would do based upon what he has done, especially if that person, instead of repenting, only continued to harden his heart against the repeated warnings of God’s messengers so as to fill up the measure of his guilt and plunge headlong into the bottomless pit of sin’s destruction and become completely irredeemable?  What does this teach us about the importance of our day to day activities and the multitude of choices we make every day—where we cast our eyes, the thoughts we allow our minds to entertain, the things we do in secret—all of which God sees, and may use to form an airtight case against us of sins He knows we would commit, if given the right circumstances, even though we have not actually committed them?  Once again, what does this teach us about the way the Lord goes about “sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat”?  See Mat 3:12.  How does it also help us to understand that such is a process taking place right now that involves the choices and decisions we make every day which over a lifetime both fairly and decisively determines one’s eternity?  See Rom 2:5-8 and cf. Heb 4:7.

What does this understanding also teach us about God’s ability to righteously judge people who died having never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus?  Is not He who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son able in mercy and grace to determine what choice a person would have made about the Savior based upon the many lesser choices they made in their pursuit of glory, honor, and immortality?  See Rom 1:19-20, and with Rom 10:13-15, cf. Rom 10:16-18, noticing that Rom 10:18 is quoting from Psa 19:4.  Does such an understanding absolve us from our responsibility to go and make disciples?  See Mat 28:18-20.