St. Paul's Lutheran Church

Close this search box.

“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, your house is left to you desolate.  For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

It is Jesus’ great desire to gather His people under His gracious care, even those who persecuted the prophets and sought to kill Him. Even the murderous hatred of Him will not cause Him to stop loving them. It is not our Lord’s desire to punish but to protect and care for them.

But their stubbornness means that He cries out to them as a lover to seeks his beloved. This cannot be stopped. He desires to protect them no matter the cost, even if He must throw Himself into the midst of them. Jesus refers to Jeremiah 3:7, “And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return.”

For as the Lord continued to call and cry out to Israel and Judah that they would repent and return to His embrace, so too does Jesus cry out to Jerusalem, lamenting their continued betrayal and earnestly seeking their repentance and return.

But as with ancient Israel, the Jews of Jesus’ time were as stubborn and unwilling to repent. Because of this, Jesus declares that their city and their pride will be laid waste and that all they loved and worshiped as a god will be destroyed, that without His tender protection and care, there is nothing to stop the evil forces of the world to vanquish them.

As Jesus cried out to Jerusalem days before His crucifixion, so does Jesus continue to cry out to us today, calling us desperately to repent and turn from our sins and to seek our shelter and protection under His wings. We cannot stubbornly shun our Lord’s calling or pretend that sinful living will lead to salvation. The Day of the Lord is near! Should we refuse His call and His mercy and instead embrace our sin, then all we think we have will be most certainly laid waste before that Day.

Jesus seeks to save the sinner and cleanse him and give him a new heart. Let us not turn away from His invitation but by His Word, let us repent, put to death our old nature of sin and disobedience, and snuggle warmly in His heavenly embrace and sheltered forever in His grace.

Lord God, heavenly Father, the holy city of Jerusalem rejected the prophets and stoned those who were sent to her, killing Your Son, the final prophet sent to redeem her and the whole world from their sins.
Through His innocent suffering and death, gather Your Church into His loving embrace that we may truly be the Body of Christ; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.