Over and over Jesus addressed the religious leaders of his day, revealing to them what was in their hearts. Ironically they did not deny what Jesus said. After Jesus told them the parable of the tenant farmers, who killed the owner’s servants and murdered his son, the heir, the leaders knew that Jesus was speaking of them. They knew what was in their hearts, so they recognized themselves in the tenant farmers, yet they did not repent, rather they hated Jesus for exposing them. The question is why didn’t they repent? Many in the crowds did repent and followed Jesus, but few of the leaders did. Jesus said that it was difficult and even impossible for man (but not with God) for the wealthy to enter into the Kingdom of God. The religious leaders’ attitude toward Jesus confirms what Jesus had earlier said. But the question of why remains.
The allure of wealth and the praise of men is intoxicating and blinds us from the importance of following the truth, truth being Jesus. Jesus said he was the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through him. Wealth and man’s praise becomes like a drug to the extent that those caught in its power will do almost anything to maintain it, sacrificing future benefits in order to maintain short-term comfort and pleasure. In this case, the religious leaders were willing to murder Jesus in order to maintain their position of wealth and authority for a season.
For those of us living in the affluent west, we must continually examine our hearts to make sure our desire to maintain comfort and status is not deceiving us from that which is true, right and good.