In Tamil Nadu there is a tradition of recent origin. When a person dies, immediately posters, banners or hoardings are erected with the dead person’s picture and wordings of gratitude or tearful homage. This is done by the family members or friends and sometime by public if that person is a public personality like a politician. On many occasions the old man or woman are vilified, harassed, even tortured and abused when they were alive. Those putting the posters even involve in such activity and probably did not even offer a glass of water or sponsor their medical expenses. However, after the person dies, he is respected at least outwardly and these people get cheap publicity. Probably, they are free of their burden of a sick and fragile person or got their inheritance. This human mentality is ingrained as Lord Jesus pointed out.
Lord Jesus Christ said that a prophet is without honour in his home and home town. (Mark 6:4) Familiarity makes them irresponsible and casual. The worth of those who related to us in our home or neighbourhood or offices is ignored or rejected. People with lesser qualities far away are esteemed. Again a ‘fallen humanity’ trait.
The religious leaders of Lord Jesus time were also no better. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous.” (Matthew 23:29) These memorial builders proudly state that they would not have done such deed, if the prophet had lived during contemporary times. Lord Jesus told that they have a shameful legacy of being sons of killers of prophets. (Matthew 23:30)
Generally, the messages of prophets were truth, which hearers hated. Prophets demanded righteousness from people of God, that was like bitter pill. Like Joseph’s brothers they thought by killing ‘dreamer’ they can kill ‘dreams’ – God’s purpose. Holy life of prophets made them envious as Cain was with Abel. Following Cain, they kill the prophets.
Do I love the living or just content building memorials when they are dead?