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.
Luke 13:34, NLT*
“You wouldn’t let Me.”
Those are some of the saddest words in the Bible. Jesus makes the invitation, but it’s up to us to accept Him.
I’ve been reading the Gospel of Luke, seeing again Jesus’ miracles and teaching, watching the stages of revelation and responsibility He gave His disciples.
By this point in the narrative, He’s moving toward Jerusalem for the last time, and His teaching has taken on an urgency. Chapter 13 warns repeatedly that time is running out, for Jesus’ hearers and for people today.
Those who don’t turn from their old ways and “work hard to enter the narrow door” (Luke 13:24, NLT*) – those who won’t come on God’s terms instead of insisting on their own interpretations – will one day find it’s too late.
There is restricted access to a relationship with God in the Kingdom of Heaven. There will be a cut-off time, an expiry to the invitation.
But the invitation is extended to everyone. “He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9b, NLT*)
Holy God, our finite minds can’t grasp the enormity of sin or the vastness of Your love. Thank You for the grace of Jesus, and please give us faith to cling to You. Help us recognize when others are responding to Your Spirit’s call, and give us wisdom and willingness to speak or to be silent as You lead. May we do nothing to hinder anyone’s coming to You.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.