The Compassion of Jesus
Luke 13:34 (ESV) -- 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!
Jesus said some hard things in His teachings. He warns that the road is wide that leads to destruction, and many are on it (Matthew 7:13). He says we must hate father and mother and many others if we are to be His disciples (Luke 14:26). Jesus was not afraid to turn over money tables in a fit of righteous anger. He even created a whip to use in the process. He wasn’t soft.
But our passage today reminds us that despite His strong words and actions, the heart of Jesus is tender. He may rebuke, but He takes no pleasure in it. We see Jesus’ words in Luke 13:34, “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!”
See here the affection in Jesus’ voice. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem.” He looks over the city and His heart breaks for their lostness. They reject their redeemer. They reject their God. They kill the prophets and stone the very people sent to help them and warn them to walk in the ways of God. Listen to His heart, “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” Jesus’ tenderness is shown in His desire to protect them. He likens it to a hen protecting her brood. But rather than accepting His protection and refuge, they are not willing.
This passage is a challenge for us today. Yes, the people of Israel during the time of Jesus were guilty of rejecting Jesus. But so are many today. Even us in the church who profess to belong to Him often refuse to find our refuge in Him. But His compassion is nonetheless there. Not even their rejection of him can make him not love them. His compassion is on display here. Remember that His compassion is abundant toward you as well. Let Him take you under His wing today.
Reflection & Journal:
- How does this passage reflect the heart of Christ?
- In what way do you think Jesus would take the people of Jerusalem under His wing?
- What does this passage do to encourage us today? How can you apply this to your own life today?
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