"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers!
How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let Me.
And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see Me again until you say, 'Blessings on the One who comes in the name of the LORD!'"(Luke 13:34-35)
"Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . ." is reminiscent of how the laments start off. Who is being addressed here? Yes, the city is being addressed but it's actually the inhabitants who are meant. The inhabitants of Jerusalem, I.e. the inhabitants of the capital city and the site of the temple. These are representative of the whole nation of Israel and of the religious centre of the nation. Jerusalem symbolizes the heart and the essence of the spiritual health and attitude of the whole nation. And Jesus is lamenting. The city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers. The present indicative tense, signifies this action is current and now, and not only that, but is on going. Every time they are ready to kill and stone those who come to bring the message of God. This sense matches what we read yesterday from the verses before this. Jerusalem is synonymous with killing the prophets. So much so, that Jesus could poke the jibe at the Pharisees about where He would die. Of course it would be Jerusalem. Prophets are killed there, aren't they? Isn't that the way it is done?
How many times … How often I wanted to gather your children. . . Interesting isn't it. This is being said while they are still on the road to Jerusalem and they are not there yet. Neither, according to Luke, have they been there before. But John makes it clear that Jesus went back and forth to Jerusalem. There were numbers of times He preached to the people in Jerusalem, had encounters in the Temple with the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. Even on one occasion, threw the money changers out of the temple. Many times Jesus went back and forth between Bethany and Jerusalem. Yes, many times He has visited Jerusalem, wanting to gather the people back to God. Notice how He puts it, gather the people like a mother hen gathers her chicks. Would the hen allow one of these chicks to fall unattended? Well, we know the answer to that already don't we? Jesus has that same feeling for the children of Israel. But they stubbornly refused to be gathered. We all know and have experienced times when we want to hold and cuddle our children, but for one reason or another they steadfastly resist. Normally because of something they are miffed about and they remain uncuddleable. [Seems I have made a new word.] They are stiff and unyielding and won't be brought close.Unrepentant is the word for it. That is exactly the condition of Israel's heart. Jesus frequently wanted to shield them from the dangers and disasters coming upon them but they were not having any of that. God wanted to show them mercy but they rejected it. He wanted it, they didn’t; and God wouldn’t violate individual or collective choice.
"Now your house is abandoned". Oh, does this sound familiar? Haven't we heard this before? Many times in Scripture we are told if we confess, accept, receive Him, He will do the same for us before the Father in Heaven. But if we reject or deny Him, He will deny or abandon us. Not because He is petty like us and will do a tit-or-tat thing. No! God doesn’t work that way. His love is always toward us. But if we deny the Christ who is our only way to acceptance with God, there is nothing left for Him but to deny and abandon us to our own situation, which we have caused. No wonder He laments over Jerusalem. Time and time again, he came to His own but His own wouldn’t receive Him. (John 1:11)
What does it mean here "your house is abandoned"?
a) The city of Jerusalem, which ultimately means the people.
b) The nation of Israel: the city of Jerusalem is indicative of the whole nation.
c) The temple or the house of God, which is symbolic of the presence of God.
You inhabitants of Jerusalem, children of Israel, by your constant rejection of God and His prophets and God's Messiah, you have brought this abandonment on yourselves.
Now comes a curious comment: You will not see Me again until you say, "Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord."
In Matthew, these words are said at the time of the triumphal entry. It makes more sense here in Luke, given what will happen later. Here it is in the perfect place in terms of timing to make more sense of it. That is in Luke it is said before the event in focus whereas in Matthew it is said after the fact. The words are predicated on the Old Testament pronouncement of "Blessing upon the One coming in the Name of the LORD". The one who would come as God's Emissary. Namely, the Messiah! But they have rejected Jesus as Messiah, so what is left? You will not see Me again until you see Me and confess Me as Messiah. Now that is significant given what is to happen, and particularly when Jesus has just finished talking about Him finishing His task and a veiled reference to His death in Jerusalem. The "you" here is not necessarily these particular Pharisees but "you", representative of all Israel. When "you", the House of Israel, confess me as who I say I am, then you will see me again and realize I am who I claim to be. Now that is highly significant as we will see from Luke much later. More to come as this theme unfolds. You will know when – keep watching for it.
To claim such, is to recognize Him as one in a long line of the messengers or prophets of God to have visited Jerusalem, to recognizeJesus is Messiah or to recognize Him as having the power and authority of God.
There are three possible moments indicated by this pronouncement of blessing and when they will see Him again.
1) When the crowds cry those words on Palm Sunday
2) When the shout is given of expectation of the long awaited Second Coming of Christ
3) When the pronouncement is made at the salvation of Jews at the end of the times of the Gentiles, and the ultimate salvation of the sons of Israel.
Hang on to your hat and fasten your seat belt. There is some good revelation ahead. But patience first! We have to wait for a long while yet. But sooner than that, is one of my favourite passages of the Bible which is packed with amazing things. That's just round the corner. But first we have to graft our way through the run of the mill stuff. Is there any run of the mill stuff in the Bible?
The revelation of God is found in the midst of the mundane.
The Rhema of God (the quickened Word of God) is found in the midst of the Logos of God (the General Word of God).
You can't obtain the Gemz without getting your hands dirty removing the overburden.
We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you're alive, it isn't. Richard Bach
It's not necessary to blow out another person's light to let your own shine. Sidney Mohede