Whenever we study the Bible, we always have to keep in mind that there are two possible meanings to almost all scripture. The human writer, often filled with the 'Spirit of God' was often not just writing for his own time. We need to look at things firstly in the historical and cultural context if we are able and then the meaning that God intends for all ages, or for us personally.
In today's Old Testament reading at Terce (morning tea) we read about the prophet Jeremiah. In his time, he constantly had to preach against idolatory (worship of other Gods) and the injustices of the society in which he lived, the poor, widows and orphans, whom God cares about greatly, were not being treated very well. God even cared about how the aliens (gentiles) were being treated in his land, but his people were ignoring the rules. They generally ignored or mocked Jeremiah and even, during the siege of Jerusalem, threw him into a cistern. God had warned Jeremiah in advance that they wouldn't listen to him, but God is a God of justice – so he had to give them the chance to repent.
Things hadn't changed much in Jesus time either, he clearly saw and warned the Pharisees and Levites that they were leading the people astray. While obeying the letter of the law, they were definitely not, obeying the spirit of it. Jesus preached against injustice and ignoring the word of God. His teaching and the miracles and wonders he performed proclaimed that he was the long awaited Messiah. Yet in today's Gospel reading they accuse Jesus of casting out demons, by the power of Satan. Like the prophets before him, they put to death the Son of God, their Messiah. Just as Jesus and the prophets had said they would. But in doing so, they set him up to be the victor over death and sin.
Death couldn’t handle Him
And the grave couldn’t hold Him.– SM Lockridge
But take a look again at Jeremiah and compare it to our time. If you think we don't have idolatory today – that would be wrong. We may not bow down to statues or idols, but we worship ourselves. Self has become an idol in our society, so materialistic we want more and more “stuff” all the time, how much do we really need. Or we worship at the alter of pride and ego, what does the world consider to be a successful person? Compare it to what Jesus considers to be a successful person? Some idolize science, clinging to the illusion that they are lords of this world and building their ego's into godlike proportions, refusing and rejecting the truth that God created everything. Injustices in our world are to be found in every country even New Zealand with it's Nanny state mentality. People still today, have 'Painted on Ears'. They don't want to listen to their elders, to those who know better and especially to a God, who too many think is a myth and no longer relevant. As the people in Jeremiah's time found out - God is very relevant and God doesn't change. If you read your Bible you know that God is even more relevant today, because our generation has the benefit of all that history.