This is a passage that was given to Jerusalem in particular, but it has tremendous application for us as well. I fear that America, and even the modern church, is guilty of much the same. The Lord stands waiting and watching, desiring us to notice Him. He longs for us to welcome Him into our lives and our services. He knows the price He paid for the redemption of humanity and yet many continue to ignore Him and reject His glorious salvation. Take just a moment to consider one verse with me today.
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!
I want to share a few thoughts from this verse, and as we consider these powerful words, I pray that it will touch our lives and move us from our complacency and apathy toward the Lord. Consider:
I. His Passion – O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. Cleary Jesus is concerned for Jerusalem. He is concerned for the spiritual condition of the people. His hour is quickly approaching and He will soon bear their sins upon the cross. He has come to redeem mankind and yet many will not believe. It is with this in mind that He weeps over the rejection of Israel. He desires them to accept Him. He desires them to be forgiven of their sin and restored to God. He is heartbroken at their rebellion and rejection of Him.
Jesus has the same passion for the world today. He died that all might be forgiven. He died that all might inherit eternal life. He died that all might live more abundantly in Him and yet many will not receive Him.
As I studied these verses I wondered how many times Jesus has looked on from the portal of glory and wept over the church. I wonder how many times He has wept over my life. I wonder how He views us today!
II. His Patience – How often would I have gathered thy children together! How many times He had stood patiently waiting for them to receive Him. How many times He had shown up in their midst and desired to move mightily among them. How many times He had longed for their fellowship and love. Jesus patiently waited upon Israel to open their eyes.
How many times has Jesus stood in the background of our lives wanting us to see Him? How many times has He longed for our worship and devotion to Him? How many times has He longed to meet our needs and yet we never recognize Him? Aren’t you glad we serve a patient Lord?
III. His Pursuit – How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings! In essence He was saying, "How often have I been rejected and yet I would have called you unto myself that I might provide for you and protect you." Jesus continually pursued those who rejected Him. He loved them even as He hung upon the cross. He came to die that we might live. Even though He was rejected He still sought men to come unto Him.
How many times has the Lord proven Himself faithful in our lives and we fail to even acknowledge His goodness? How many times has He shown up in a service and met with us and we didn’t even recognize it was Him? How many times have we failed and come short in this life? How many times have we brought hurt and shame to our Lord? To all of these we likely couldn’t count the times and yet He continues to pursue us. He is still tenderly pleading and calling for us to come unto Him. He is calling the weary to rest, the wayward home, the hurting to comfort, the lost to salvation, even though He has been ignored and rejected time and again!
IV. His Pain – And ye would not! We can’t begin to imagine the pain that this brought to the heart of our Lord. He had left the splendor of heaven to take on a robe of flesh. He lived as a servant to all, dwelling in poverty. He worked mighty miracles among them, healing their sick, providing their needs, and raising their dead and yet they would not come unto Him. He was about to die upon the cross and they would reject His sacrifice to die lost and spend an eternity in hell. Surely this broke our Lord’s heart.
We tend to look at this passage with amazement. How could the people of God not see and know that Jesus was the Christ? How could they reject Him and cause Him such pain? I suppose that future generations will ask the same of us? How could we see the miracles He has performed among us and not believe? How could we meet for services week after week, experiencing His power and yet fail to worship? How could we receive such wonderful salvation and yet not live for the Lord? Don’t you suppose this too grieves the heart of our precious Lord? Don’t you think we bring Him pain as well?
As I ponder the state of affairs in our society and among the church, I am convinced that we are living out this scene over again. Our Lord is standing, watching, waiting, pleading with the hearts of men, simply wanting to bring them into His loving arms, and yet we go about our day to day lives unaware and unconcerned. May Christ our Lord have mercy upon us and change our cold hearts!
Church it is past time to wake out of sleep and seek the Lord. If our generation doesn't seek the Lord and commit to serving Him, it may well be too late for the coming generation. We are in the midst of defining times for our nation. Who is willing to admit the need and seek the Lord?