Daily Word

Hope will return | Matthew 23:37-39

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Matthew 23:37-39 (NASB) 中文

Final word

Back in chapter 22, Jesus started his judgment of the Jewish religious leaders. He has just finished a wave of woe (judgements) on them. The intent was to simply pronounce judgment. The hope must have been that some would wake up and respond. Also, that those listening would see the error of the ways of the religious leaders and turn to Jesus, Messiah.

Expanded scope

Now He spreads the spotlight to include everyone in Jerusalem and, by implication, all Israel, past and present. And, I would suggest, it continues to today, where the secular state of Israel still rejects the Messiah as do most Jews. However, they do seem to allow free expression of Christianity.

Same message

The scope is expanded but the message remains the same. They have rejected God’s overtures of love and care for them. The word-picture here is powerful: a hen spreading its wings over its chicks to protect them. (Psalm 17:8; 91:4) As a result, impending judgment will doom them. Their house is being left desolate. This is tied to the judgment in the previous verse (36). 

Hope will return

But hope is coming … again. He is there, live in front of them now. But they reject Him. He quotes Psalm 118, which is a prophecy of His coming. It is their source of hope. Some devout Jews are still waiting for the coming Messiah. They reject Jesus as Messiah but still expect a Messiah. When Jesus comes the second time, these Jews will recognize Him who was pierced and accept Him as Savior (Romans 11:26). 

“Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!” is from Psalm 118:26. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds cried out this proclamation (Matt 21:9). When He comes the 2nd time, they will again proclaim it. This day could be soon approaching. 


  • Regarding this unwillingness, Charles Spurgeon said, “We hold tenaciously that salvation is all of grace, but we also believe with equal firmness that the ruin of man is entirely the result of his own sin. It is the will of God that saves; it is the will of man that damns.” (Spurgeon)
  • Are we ready for the second coming? In the next chapter, Jesus will give more details to help determine when the time is at hand. It could be soon. We should live expectantly. 
Hen protects chicks. Image from pxfuel.com

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