"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!Luke 13:34(NASB)
I think this must be one of the most grievous things that the Lord Jesus had to go through in His ministry, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. They had been chosen as God's people.. through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed. They were given the holy Scriptures and the promises of God.. Who pledged to send a Messiah, Who would save His people from their sins.
They were unique among the nations for they were the only people with whom God made a covenant. They were chosen to share the good news of the gospel of God with the gentile nations, and proclaim forth the gospel of the kingdom to the whole world.. but they broke their covenant with God and wandered far away from the Lord. They turned to worship idols and became a proud and arrogant people, considering themselves to be superior to the rest of mankind.
They were a blessed nation.. but God wanted them to be a blessing to others.. for through them was to come the Seed of the woman Who would be sent to Redeem the world. The Seed promised to Abraham, was to be man's kinsman-Redeemer and pay the price for the sin of the whole world. He was to come through God's chosen nation, and Israel were charged to proclaim this message - and they failed.
And for three years the Lord Jesus proclaimed that He was their promised Messiah and that the promised time of restoration had arrived. Jesus was the Word made flesh Who came to pay the price for the sin of the whole world, and He authenticated His mission and ministry through His many prophesied signs and wonders.. so that all would know that He was the Christ of God and Saviour of the whole world. But He was accused of carrying out His miracles by the power of Beelzebub and not the Holy Spirit of God - and He was despised and rejected by those He came to save.
And in this verse we hear His bitter lament and grievous cry as He bewailed.. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it.
Throughout Israel's long and chequered history, God's prophets had been rejected and killed and God's message of repentance had been spurned and fallen on deaf ears. A simple reading through the Old Testament Scriptures identifies the grief, hardship, rejection and scorn that was poured out on all the holy men of God.. and for four hundred years God remained silent.
And now, in Israel's last days, Scripture was being fulfilled for Israel's Messiah-King had arrived to set up His kingdom rule of peace and prosperity.. and all Israel needed to do was to repent, for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. God had sent His only begotten Son.. Who was appointed Heir of all things and through Whom the worlds were made. He was sent into the world to be man's Saviour. And yet He was despised and rejected.. He too was scorned and spurned and He was soon to be falsely accused, perfidiously betrayed, abandoned and denied by His own dear friends, dishonestly judged by Jew and Gentile alike and treacherously killed.
Israel was God's chosen and adopted Son, and yet they united to destroy their God and Saviour. It was no wonder Christ likened Himself to a mother hen who gathers and protects her little brood of little chicks under her wings - and YET they would not.
What a good and gracious God to be so shockingly used and abused by His people.. and yet was still able to pray; Father forgive them for they know not what they do. How wonderful to know that Christ' prayer continues to be answered and that God's promises to believing Israel of an earthly inheritance still stand.
And what a comfort for Christians in this dispensation of grace, to know that the promises that God has made to the Church in connection with our own, heavenly inheritance are equally steadfast and sure... for the Word of God can never be broken.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have proved to be a good and gracious God, Whose promises stand fast for ever and ever. We pray that many in both Israel and the Gentile nations would repent of their sins and turn to Christ for the salvation of their sins.. And thank You that my salvation does not rely on what I have done, but by faith in what Christ accomplished on my behalf upon the cross of Calvary.. in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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