A Great Loss

Matthew 23:37-38
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Often in our lives, we project onto others what we feel.  If we don’t like something, we may assume that others don’t, either.  When we anticipate someone else’s response to a situation, we often guess they will act like we would.  So when we see the interaction that Jesus has with the Pharisees where He calls them hypocrites and fools and details all the things they are doing wrong, we might think He is angry or rejecting them, perhaps like we might be.  But Jesus’ true heart is revealed here.

Jesus does not pronounce His woes upon the Pharisees with glee.  He does not revel in exposing the truth of their hearts just to rub it in their faces and make them look foolish.  He is not glad about the fate they face.  But He does all of this with a broken heart, sorrowful over their sin, their pride, their hard hearts, and ultimately their rejection of Him and all that He would have given to them.  Jesus longs to enfold them in His arms.  He longs to draw them near to Himself like a hen with her chicks, a shepherd with his sheep, a father with his children.

When the Pharisees do not listen and refuse to respond to the truth of God presented so plainly to them, Jesus does not gloat in victory over that, but mourns what that means for both them and Himself.  Not only do they miss out on His promises and His blessings, not only will they die in their sins and face eternity separate from Him, but Jesus also misses out on their fellowship, that relationship that He could have had with them.  It is a loss to Him.  Every soul that rejects Him is a piece missing from His family that should be there.  Every soul cast into hell is absent from heaven and the worship of Him that He deserves.

The Bible says that God is not willing that any should perish.  He does not want anyone to die and go to hell.  He does not want anyone to refuse His gift given out of such great love.  Sadly, some do refuse and reject Him.  And it is a mournful thing that that is so, not something to rejoice in.  We see the heart of Jesus for His people.  Do we have the same heart for those who oppose Him?  Do we long to see those who are lost be enfolded into the arms of Christ and become part of His family forever?

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