How often would I have gathered your children together ...
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’
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! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
In passages like this Jesus speaks in a way that two meanings can be extrapolated from it. The obvious meaning is that his ministry would continue until that last day that he entered Jerusalem on a donkey as people shouted ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The second subtler meaning is a bit more prophetic and speaks to the day of his second coming. Some feel that the days mentioned by him are an allusion to centuries. Always interesting to ponder.
In these few paragraphs we see the courageous and loving heart of the Son of God. Unafraid of a powerful king he continues on from town to town being moved by compassion to feed, teach and heel the people of Israel. You can sense the pain in his voice as he speaks of Jerusalem. It is like he knows that the city will be the end of his days and is so saddened that the people called to be a bright city on a hill have turned to something dark and sinister.
You have called us a city on a hill Lord. Help us to shine with your glorious light today.