“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets’” (Matthew 23:29-30).
Israel had a pattern of revering prophets of the past, while disregarding the prophetic voices of the present. By claiming they would not have done as their fathers, these purveyors of religion indict themselves, for they are persecuting, accusing, and will, ultimately, put to death the promised Prophet of God—Jesus Christ. We must be guarded against a religious heritage of the past that seeks to drown out the voice of the Spirit today.