ESV - 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!
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"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often I wanted to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings; but you were not willing" (Mt 23:37) Referring to the nation as well as the temple (2Sam. 7:5,18-19). Both were destroyed and both will be restored. Israel was here officially cut off as a nation at the end of Daniel's 69th week and will not be dealt with as such until Daniel's 70th week (Dan. 9:27). ►► FIVE Reasons the Temple Was Destroyed: 1. Because of their sins 2. To take away all possibility of continuing Judaism 3. To prove conclusive that the law was abolished, the old Jewish economy was brought to an end and the Christian dispensation introduced 4. Righteous blood shed from A to Z (Abel to Zechariah)! (Mt 23:35). This was no doubt Zechariah the prophet (Zech. 1:1). Here we learn of his death in the temple. It could not be the one in 2Chr. 24:20-21 who was the son of Jehoida. 5. Because they rejected greater light, killed the greatest executive of God--the Son from heaven--and stubbornly refused all offers of God's mercy confirmed by the greatest signs and wonders of all times, judgment was to fall in a greater measure than upon any other generation. ►► Jesus concluded His last sermon with this lamentation. He used this image of hen and chicks to explain divine patience. God is never in haste. Especially in His dealings with people He is graciously patient. He is called the "God of Patience" (Rom 15:5). None of us can survive if God is impatient with us as we are with one another. At the same time we cannot take His patience for granted and go on in our own ways. The Jews were guilty of misunderstanding the patience of God. Apostle Paul warned them sternly, "Do you despise the riches of God's goodness, tolerance and patience, not realising that the kindness of God should lead you to repentance?" (Rom 2:4). Jerusalem was called the "perfection of beauty" and the "joy of the whole world" (Lam 2:15b). But she always had her enemies. Her safety was under the wings of Jehovah (Psa 17:8; 36:7). Her prosperity was because of the warmth of His fellowship. She despised it by rejecting God's message that came to her through prophets and wise men. She heaped for herself false prophets and teachers who would speak to her taste. She was not willing to listen to those who preached what she needed but only what she wanted. She not only kicked away true messages from God but also killed truthful messengers. Jesus warned the Jerusalemites that God's patience was running out as they were martyring one by one every true messenger of God, A to Z (Abel to Zechariah)! (Mt 23:35) The hen calls the chicks at the distant sight of an eagle. Safe are the ones which run into the mother's wings. Others will be easily snatched away. Our safety is only in immediate and implicit obedience to the mildest whisper of the Spirit of God. We will face no danger in our lives which God has not warned us of. When we commit ourselves to walk in obedience to God, He will check even the slightest deviation (Isa 30:21). Keeping our ears sensitive and our hearts soft before God is the surest way to crush Satan in our lives (Rom 16:19,20). Hardening our hearts will lead to sudden self-destruction (Prov 29:1). God waits patiently till the "cup of iniquity" overflows! (Gen 15:16). Let's not mistake it. "Looking off unto Jesus, I go not astray; My eyes are on Him, and He shows me the way; The path may seem dark as He leads me along, But following Jesus I cannot go wrong!" (Darby)
Jesus grieved over Jerusalem because those He truly loved by their free will choice refused to be converted. This is implying that free will is absolutely the sovereign right of every individual when they hear the gospel. How do we know that? Because Jesus "as God" had up until the present time sent messengers to persuade them to repent and the words that resound in horror when they had not responded were Luk 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! "and ye would not" They resisted the grace of God. This is what grieves God, because God does not select a meager few out of the World of sinful misery that cannot resist His grace and impose His will on them. If that were true then Jesus would not be sad because of their decision to resist the will of God to gather them. He would not have any compassion on them at all if it only depended on the will of the Father. He would just go on about His business knowing the Father makes the choices the rest will go to hell by His divine decree. That is not the true gospel. The true gospel is that the ones exercising free will and would believe in Him will be saved.
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