We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 23:33-36
"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation."
Jesus isn't one for mincing words! These hypocritical, selfish, spiritually empty religious leaders are like hell-bound, poisonous snakes. Their spiritual predecessors had caused great harm, and their own antagonism would only worsen as followers of Jesus shared the gospel.
We also live in a time when Christians from many places in the world are being persecuted for their faith, and it's important for us to remember those sisters and brothers in Christ in our prayers. Today, ask God to also help you stand firmly on the foundation of your faith—no matter the possible consequences.