One of the saddest scriptures in the life of Jesus is recorded in Matt 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Here Jesus is declaring His heart of wanting to minister to the people, to be close to them, yet the people were not willing to receive Him.
In looking at the Jewish people they seemed willing to follow Jesus, they eagerly received from Him when He fed the multitudes (Jn. 6:10), they sat for hours loving the depth of His teaching (Matt. 5:1,2) and they followed Him as He healed all that were sick or oppressed (Matt 12:15). Yet in spite of the fact that the people followed Jesus, they actually didn’t really follow Him, they were only interested in the outward side of their lives. When it got to the place where commitment, true relationship and trust were involved, the people would not respond. They received Jesus as a provider for their needs but not as their Lord, Saviour, or one who was close to Him.
Considering our walk with Jesus, do we see ourselves gather to Him because He is our companion, whom we love to be close to, or as our provider? Lord Jesus, may we always respond to Your desire to gather us unto Yourself; may our hearts also long to receive You and to be near to You.