50 “As a result, this generation will be held responsible for the murder of all God’s prophets from the creation of the world-- 51 from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, it will certainly be charged against this generation. (Luke 11:46-51 NLT)
Jesus' words of warning to the Pharisees bother me because they were religious leaders of His time, and I am a "Pastor" or religious leader today. Jesus condemned their legalism. He challenged their hypocrisy. He warned them about wanting to be the center of attention. He confronted them for demanding that people follow their rules, rituals and traditions instead of helping them to grow closer to God.
I hope and pray that I never do any of these things. But I know that I am guilty. I don't live anything close to a perfect life, although I try to follow Jesus and ask for His forgiveness every day. It is important for people to know that Jesus loves them and return His love. It is not that important that people like me, even though I want to be liked. I have been called to be a "Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." The good news is that God still loves and forgives me when my personal agenda or sinful nature get in the way.
I am guilty, but not charged because Jesus paid for my sins and yours on the cross. With His help, I hope to grow closer to Him and His people every day and to reach out to those who don't know Him and help connect them with Jesus.