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Saturday July 21 – O Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets…!

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…! – Luke 13:34-35

Scripture reading: Luke 11:37-54

Although Christ’s suffering and death was a divine necessity, this does not excuse His murderers, not His killers in the church either. This is the reality the Lord Jesus exposes in this lament over Jerusalem. Throughout the ages, God’s prophets were abused and even killed. Even today, this same abuse of God’s servants continues with the poor attitude of ignoring the Word that’s proclaimed, sleeping in church, criticizing the preaching, rejecting the admonitions and bad-mouthing the preachers. Ultimately, however, those who so conduct themselves in the church of Christ are treating Him again the way He suffered!

Jesus articulates this sad fact powerfully in the image of a hen gathering her brood under her wings. Thus, Christ is seeking us by His Word and Spirit, with the means of grace, through the instruments of preachers: He wants to gather us, protect us and care for us, especially against the fierce attacks of Satan, against the wolves in sheep’s clothing! Why is this so? We don’t see the dangers, sense the need for protection and heed the admonitions? Instead of saying, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD!” we approach Him again and again with the words “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Let us never forget how He bore for us the scorn and abuse, that He might protect us and spare us for life. He protected us from the severe wrath and curse of God that we may be blessed and preserved in God’s love and care by the preaching of the gospel!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for your minister, for your elders, and ask that God may help them in speaking and us in listening.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. William den Hollander (Sr.) is minister-emeritus of the Bethel Canadian Reformed Church of Toronto.

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