Charles Wolf Jr. is a professor of International Economics. In what is referred to as Wolf’s Law, he said, “Those who don't study the past will repeat its errors. Those who do study it will find other ways to err.”[i]
How true this was of the religious leaders Jesus confronted. The ‘Wolf’s Law’ seemed to be that these shepherds were actually wolves who destroyed the spotless lambs.
Jesus points out that they are no different than their forefathers. God would continue to send prophets to the nation and the religious leaders would continue the pattern of persecution.
The prophets of old had a consistent message calling God’s People to obedience. The religious leaders acted as if they had surpassed their ancestors’ ability to judge correctly. God sent prophets to their nation and the forefathers killed them off. The Scribes and Pharisees recognized that the prophets were right and honoured them by building memorial tombs to enshrine their importance.
Instead of looking back at past injustices and claiming moral high ground, we need to realize that we can be guilty of repeating history. We must resist the temptation to look back nostalgically at the ‘good old days’ and miss the lessons that history can teach us. History teaches us that we are fully capable of making the same mistakes.