23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
Three lessons about ministry in the city:
1. Sinful lifestyle doesn’t deter a demonstration of love. Jerusalem had a history of being a “city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers” and that refused to be corrected (“you wouldn’t let me”). Yet, Jesus loved it, ministered to it, preached in it, and sought to transform it anyway!
2. Instead of leaving, love. When Jesus saw the need, He went toward and not away from Jerusalem. He knew very well that the treatment He would receive there would not be pleasant, but His heart longed to save the people of the city. That strategy has not changed. When the Twin Towers where attacked on September 11, 2001, firefighters and other personnel ran toward the building when many were running out. The reason? People needed to be rescued. That’s the reason we exist also. Don’t leave, avoid, or condemn. Try love instead.
3. Love is more than a feeling for the city, it is action in the city. Jesus cried for the city and had compassion for the people living there. That was wonderful, but not enough. He took those feelings and put them into action as He healed, preached, and helped.
What is one thing you can do this week to love your city?
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