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 were not willing! 23.27
In contrast to the woes earlier in the chapter, Jesus laments over Jerusalem—the city of God. Jesus recounts the historical rejection of God’s chosen people; one that is coming to a climax with the rejection of God’s chosen Son. Jesus’ words evidence His sincere love and grief over their refusal to find refuge under the loving wing of God. Jerusalem will be desolated; but Jesus laments this reality. The image of the mother bird gathering and covering her brood is a familiar one. Moses used it in his farewell sermon. It a picture of love, tender care, and even a willingness to die to protect others. Jesus did die for the sins of the world, including the nation of Israel: but “His own received Him not”.
- What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
- What is the house that Jesus refers to and what will happen to it? When will the Jews welcome Jesus and call him blessed?
- What does this passage teach us about the tension that exists between a God who is perfectly holy and just? How does the cross resolve this tension?
- Read Colossians 1.15-20. How does it make you feel to know that our Creator grieves over His creation?
- Chapter 23 combines Jesus’ severe judgement on hypocrites with his sincere lament over Jerusalem. How can we ensure we strike the right balance between boldness in declaring the truth of God’s judgement and warmth towards those who deserve it? How can we prevent boldness from becoming coldness?