Jesus speaks to the Pharisees as “this generation” because they consent to the killing of the prophets. They are as guilty as their ancestors who literally murdered God’s messengers. The prophets relayed the message of God through oracles. God first spoke to them and sent them to the addressees.
Prophecy ceased to exist as the Pharisees took the upper hand. The Pharisees would communicate the message of God through their interpretation of the written word in the Hebrew Bible.
In Jesus’ time, the rabbis have become hostile to the prophetic movement because they have found it irrelevant. Thus, they see Jesus as the last guy claiming to be a prophet trying to revive the long extant prophetism since Malachi, some 500 years earlier.
Gospel • LUKE 11:47-54
The Lord said: “Woe to you! You build the memorials of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” When he left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.