What Jesus Did! 'Longing to Protect the City' — Luke 13:34-35

Friday, September 1, 2023

[Jesus continued,] "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. And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, 'Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
— Luke 13:34-35 NLT

Key Thought

Doesn't this passage, this haunting cry of Jesus, seem very poignant even today? God longs to bless the people of Jerusalem. The Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts remind us again and again of God's love for the great cities of that era — Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, Rome. [1] Luke and Acts teach us how God longed to reach them with his grace through the Good News. Unfortunately, those cities rejected the message of Jesus as Jerusalem did. Their rejection of God's grace, ethics, and morals resulted in disasters for the cities themselves. For Jerusalem, however, the denial of Jesus was a worse rejection. Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, the promised hope of their Scriptures, sent to be their Deliverer. Let's not be guilty of the same rejection. Let's understand God's desire to bring us under his wing of protection and respond by offering him our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

[1] For example, Antioch (Acts 11:19-27); Ephesus (Acts 19:1, 8, 17), Athens (Acts 17:15-16), Corinth (Acts 18:8, 18), and Rome (Acts 19:21, 23:11, 28:30-31), in addition to Paul's letters to the disciples in Ephesus, Corinth, and Rome.

Today's Prayer

Tender Shepherd, my heavenly Father, thank you for your Son and my Savior and Lord. Use me to be a blessing to the people where I live and empower me to share your saving grace given through Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 2:36-42
  • John 1:10-13
  • Luke 20:9-16


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Illustration of Luke 13:34-35 NLT — "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers!

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.