One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”
As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
Comment: Not surprisingly the lawyers jump to the Pharisees defence seeing it as an insult; they recognize that what he is saying refers to them as well, as they are of the same mind. And they really ‘cop it’ in Jesus reply. They lay burdens of demand on the average person under their care by ordering such harsh conditions which even they cannot meet. And the lawyers did nothing to help the ordinary man. Jesus, towards the end, accuses them of taking away the ‘key of knowledge’. What does He mean by that? It was the messages that God sent through His prophets, whom they and their predecessors had killed. They had neither heeded them themselves nor allowed the common man to hear God’s messages. This brings down as harsh criticism as you can imagine on their heads. “woe to you’ uttered by the lips of the Godhead cannot be anything but terrifying.
Sadly they do not repent and change but continue to try to entrap Him to catch Him for their evil plans, which as we know ends up in His crucifixion.
Prayer: Help me to hear and obey your call to repentance and the change which You enable.