The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
  "How often would I have gathered your children together"

Scripture:  Matthew 23:37-39

37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together  as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 38 Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, `Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
Meditation: What do you most long for? Jesus contrasts his desire and longing for Jerusalem -- the holy city and temple of God with Jerusalem's lack of desire for him as their long-expected Messiah. Jesus compares his longing for Jerusalem with a mother hen gathering her chicks under her protective wings. Psalm 91 speaks of God's protection in such terms: "He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge" (Ps. 91:4). Jesus willingly set his fact toward Jerusalem, knowing that he would meet betrayal, rejection, and death on a cross. His death on the cross, however, brought about victory and salvation, not only for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but for all both Jew and gentile who would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Jesus' prophecy is a two-edged sword, pointing to his victory and redemption and foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem and the dire consequences for all who would reject him and his saving message. While the destruction of Jerusalem's temple was determined (it was razed by the Romans in 70 A.D.), there remained for its inhabitants a narrow open door leading to deliverance. Jesus says: "I am the door; whoever enters by me will be saved" (John 10:9).  Is your desire for the heavenly city, Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2)?  And is your life securely submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ?

"Lord Jesus, in you I place all my trust and hope.  May I wholly desire you and your will above all else and long for the heavenly city Jerusalem as my true home and refuge.  Fill my heart with love and mercy for others that I may boldly witness to the truth and joy of the gospel through word and example, both to those who accept it and to those who oppose it."


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