‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, (…) and you were not willing.’ Matthew 23:37
As mentioned before, the hatred and enmity of religious people who lack real communion with God is terrible towards those who really live with God. In the passage of today this again becomes crystal clear. The whole city was aroused because of the passionate cries of some zealots of the pure doctrine. ‘This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place…’
Oh, of course there is an element of truth in it. That is always the strategy of Satan. But half the truth is often worse than a whole lie.
Paul preached to the gentiles that they too could share in the mercy and salvation God offered. The Jews who wanted to maintain their special position, perceived this as a treat to their own people.
In a similar way it is hard to accept for many churchgoers that outside their church a community of believers might originate, where people - more than they - would serve and worship the Lord in genuine submission.
In blind hate the Jews dragged Paul from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut for fear of defilement of their religion. In their zeal for God they even tried to kill Paul… The gentile commander of the Roman troops prevented this religious murder. When Paul was taken to safety, he did not despise the fanatic Jews, but desired to speak to them out of the love Jesus has shown in His suffering for all who crucify Him time and again…