Summary: A study in the Gospel of Matthew 23: 34 -39
Matthew 23: 34 -39
Ignorance is no excuse
34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’”
Most of you are familiar with the statement, ‘ignorance of the law is no defense.’ All citizens are charged with knowing the law. The most common example of this is the speed trap.
Now I want you to think about ignorance of what the Bible says. What does this mean to us who have put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ignorance is the lack of knowledge or understanding. Ignorant people are either unaware or uninformed. Sometimes we are ignorant because we did not know there was a need to learn something. Other times, we are ignorant because we have chosen not to learn something we need to know.
Our Holy El Shaddai, Almighty God says to us in the prophet Hosea’s book chapter 4, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you.”
Willfully rejecting knowledge that God wants us to have is sinful ignorance. While unintentional ignorance about earthly topics is understandable, intentional ignorance about spiritual matters can lead to eternal destruction as the book of Romans informs us in chapter 1, “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”
The bible makes a distinction between ignorance and innocence. We don’t have to be ignorant of the fact of sin; in fact, we can be highly informed about sin yet remain innocent of it. But we should all be ignorant about the practice of evil. Ephesians 5 says, “11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.”
Our Lord Jesus advises us in Matthew Gospel chapter 10, “16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
To effectively fight the spiritual battle, we must know something of how our enemy functions. Believers are encouraged to forgive each other, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for the scripture says in 1 Corinthians chapter 2, “11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”
Ignorance about what the devil is up to and ignorance of the damage done by unforgiveness is dangerous to our spiritual health. One of Satan’s basic tactics is to keep people ignorant as we learn in the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 4, “11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”
God commands us to repent of our ignorance and seek Him with all our hearts as the prophet Jeremiah teaches us in chapter 29 of his book , “13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
One of the most important fact our Holy and Great God told mankind was when He was going to show up in the flesh personally. Sadly, the people were not doing their homework in studying the word of God, so they were not waiting for His arrival nor did they recognize Him when He showed up.