KILLER OF PROPHETS
'Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killer of prophets, abuser of the messengers of God!
How often I've longed to gather your children, gather your children like a hen,
her brood safe under her wings -- but you refused and turned away!
But now it's too late; you won't see me again until the day you say,
'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
Luke 13:34,35 (The Message).
Oh the heartache of Jesus! Such is the power of deception and the terrifying possibilities in the most precious gift God gave humanity - the power to choose! But that is the nature of love - risking everything for the sake of a free and willing choice to believe and trust the God who calls us into a love relationship with Him.
Not to be able to love Him freely would be grossly unfair, to say the least. He has given us the right to choose, based on the evidence that we must evaluate for ourselves. God hides nothing from us. What He says is true with no small print to mislead or mask a hidden agenda.
Jesus could rightly claim, 'I am the Light of the world,' because light dispels darkness and reveals everything. He could claim, 'I am the truth,' because what He has spoken and what He has promised has stood the test of time. Only truth can never be destroyed and the words of Jesus have never been proved false.
Deception's power lies, as much in what had not been said as in what has been said. Satan is a master of deception, sometimes by just plain lying, contradicting the truth of God, and sometimes by concealing the truth; for example, he makes sin look appealing and attractive but he neglects to talk about the consequences. 'It's okay,' he says to young people, 'to sleep around. It's nice and everybody's doing it. Nothing will happen and no-one will know.'
And then comes the unexpected pregnancy. 'It's okay to get rid of it,' he says, 'It's only the 'product of conception',' as if that changes the truth that it is a baby-in-the-making. Then, when it's all over and there is no going back, comes the lifetime of emotional pain - guilt, shame, remorse - that he didn't warn you about, and oh, does he rub it in, 'You fool, you wicked person, look what you've done. God will never forgive you. There is no hope for you!'
Jesus wept for a city that had been deceived by its spiritual leaders. 'He's a devil and a deceiver,' they insisted. 'He works through the power of the devil. Don't listen to Him. We are right and He is wrong.' and so the people made their choice, swept along by the gloating deceiver himself. They murdered Him in spite of the evidence. And forty years later the city and its people paid the terrible price, the city destroyed, the temple taken apart stone by stone - just as He said - and its people slaughtered until their blood ran like a river in the streets.
Had they believed Him, they would have been as safe as chickens sheltering under mother hen's wings. But they did not. They refused to weigh up the evidence and so, they were wilfully deceived. And that's the biggest tragedy of all - deception is, in the end, our choice. There is enough evidence to disclose the truth, if we want it. "It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who believe Him." Hebrews 11:6 (The Message).
Here is His non-negotiable promise, "Now this is what my Father wants; that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who He is and what He does and then aligns with Him, will enter real life, eternal life." John 6:40 (The Message); no small print, no hidden agenda, only the truth.
But it's your choice....
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