READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary l The rejection of God’s love and salvation through Christ, then and today, breaks the Father’s heart.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, 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.’” (v37-39)
Jesus, in His last address to the people of Jerusalem, was mournfully burdened to save God’s people. Jerusalem was and is God’s designated City of peace, Temple for the nations. But her people rejected Him. “All day long, I opened My arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.” (Romans 10:21) They heard, saw, touched Jesus as Son of Man, yet intentionally rejected God’s way through His Son. Instead of leading God’s people to worship the LORD in Spirit and Truth, the Scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus called “hypocrites” and “brood of vipers”, (v29,33) in self-indulgent greed (v25-26) chose to lead the people astray, kill, and persecute God’s prophets sent to help them repent. Consequently, God withdrew His presence from the Jews. Forsaken, they were massacred, and their temple was destroyed when the Romans conquered Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Implications For Us Today
God no longer dwells with His people when they persistently reject Him. If we willfully remain self-centred “white-washed tombs” (v27) appearing righteous outwardly but spiritually dead inwardly, we miss coming to know and relate with God in His Word. Tragically, those who “do not know God” and “do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” will be “punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might.” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)
God calls to lead us to a place of safety. Are we willing to heed God’s call and run to Him? Jew or Gentile, we find refuge under the wings of a God whose unfailing love is priceless! (Psalm 36:7) His faithful promises are our armour and protection. (Psalm 91:4)
How Shall We Respond?
Willingly accept God’s offer of salvation. In God’s plan of redemption for Israel and the world, Jesus’ promised glorious return is certain. “For you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” (v39, Psalm 118:26) Come repentantly to receive Jesus as Saviour. Enjoy Creator God’s sacred shelter, promised Hope, and fullness of a victorious Life in Him the Christ.
Share the Good News. God’s grace of salvation through Jesus the Son is for all. When did you last share Christ but was rejected? Be not disheartened, but continually avail ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit to share God’s love with someone when prompted. Though some may reject, others are ready.
Examine our motives. Live out our faith based on Godly principles, not man-made rules and regulations. In true humility, serve others sacrificially. Be concerned about internal change, not external piety.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23) May Jesus not have to lament over us. May we live intentionally as His faithful disciples, dedicated and humbly surrendered to His Lordship.
(Sermon notes by Marjorie Tan)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- What is your key takeaway from today’s message?
- Has there been a time when you realised that you have been behaving like religious leaders in this passage? (i.e. Practicing your righteousness externally but internally you are spiritually dry)
- Share a time when you last felt a burden to reach out to someone? How did they respond?
- Is there anyone with whom you can share the good news of Jesus Christ today?