37 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!
37 Verse 37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem] 1. It is evident that our
blessed Lord seriously and earnestly wished the salvation of the
Jews. 2. That he did every thing that could be done, consistently
with his own perfections, and the liberty of his creatures, to
effect this. 3. That his tears over the city, Lu 19:41,
sufficiently evince his sincerity. 4. That these persons
nevertheless perished. And 5. That the reason was, they would not
be gathered together under his protection: therefore wrath, i.e.
punishment, came upon them to the uttermost. From this it is
evident that there have been persons whom Christ wished to save,
and bled to save, who notwithstanding perished, because they would
not come unto him, Joh 5:40. The metaphor which our Lord uses
here is a very beautiful one. When the hen sees a beast of prey
coming, she makes a noise to assemble her chickens, that she may
cover them with her wings from the danger. The Roman eagle is
about to fall upon the Jewish state-nothing can prevent this but
their conversion to God through Christ-Jesus cries throughout the
land, publishing the Gospel of reconciliation-they would not
assemble, and the Roman eagle came and destroyed them. The hen's
affection to her brood is so very strong as to become proverbial.
The following beautiful Greek epigram, taken from the Anthologia,
affords a very fine illustration of this text.
This epigram contains a happy illustration, not only of our
Lord's simile, but also of his own conduct. How long had these
thankless and unholy people been the objects of his tenderest
cares! For more than 2000 years, they engrossed the most peculiar
regards of the most beneficent Providence; and during the three
years of our Lord's public ministry, his preaching and miracles
had but one object and aim, the instruction and salvation of this
thoughtless and disobedient people. For their sakes, he who was
rich became poor, that they through his poverty might be rich:-
for their sakes, he made himself of no reputation, and took upon
him the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even
the death of the cross! HE died, that THEY might not perish, but
have everlasting life. Thus, to save their life, he freely
abandoned his own.