“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it!” (Matthew 23:37 NET).
Jesus knew the city of Jerusalem so well. He had witnessed its founding and watched as King David took the city and made it his capital.
But he had also watched Jerusalem overcome by the idolatry and sin that characterized it in the Divided Kingdom and saw it led into bitter captivity to the Babylonians.
In his life on earth, Jesus must have had fond memories of his trip to Jerusalem as a boy and remembered his visits to the city while he was preaching the truth.
In Matthew 23:37 it is difficult to read his words without thinking of the sadness that must have accompanied them. He loved Jerusalem and the people who lived there as he loved all people everywhere.
He said he so much wanted to “gather your children together.” Then came the saddest part of the passage when he said, “but you would have none of it!” The stubborn will of the Jews shortchanged them of the glory they could have known with the Creator of the universe. How sad to hear — “but you would have none of it!”
Lelia N. Morris, an Ohio woman, who along with her sister and mother owned a ladies’ hat shop, wrote more than a thousand hymns, usually while she did her housework. She wrote the hymn, “My Stubborn Will,” in 1900.
“My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be thine and thine alone;
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
‘Lord, let in me thy will be done.’”
Jesus would gather all of humanity together for protection and salvation, but how many would “have none of it?” So many people have refused the kindness of our Lord simply because they cannot turn their backs on sin.
Are you willing to allow the Master to change your life so that in you his will be done? Repent of sin and obey the gospel so that his will can be done in you.