3A. the king’s final woe over jerusalem matthew 23: 37-39 Matthew 23: 37 37

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Matthew 23:37
37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are 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.

  • In this scene we have the entire history of Israel in relationship to her Messianic King and His Kingdom.

  • The God of history is speaking.

  • He identifies Himself in the words of ‘how often I wanted to gather your children.’

  • The grand scheme of history from God’s point of view is to gather sinners under His wings.

  • The tragedy, however, is found in the words ‘you were unwilling.’

  • The nation of Israel said ‘no’ to God, but the victory in history will be the future day when Israel says, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’

  • The words of Christ in this section are specific and immediate.

1B. The City of Jerusalem [Jerusalem, Jerusalem]

  • Jesus addressed the Pharisees and scribes in this chapter, but now the message is directed toward Jerusalem and her children.

  • In the glory days of the historical theocratic kingdom, Jerusalem was the flower and the capital, plus the presence of Jehovah embodied in the Temple.

  • Israel was her children.

  • Jerusalem should have been a blessing to all nations but now Jesus describes it as a habitual murderess city.

  • This city is about to bring to a climax its murderess history by crucifying her promised King.

2B. The Loss of Protection [the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings]

  • Jesus uses a well know OT figure of speech by mentioning the sheltering wings.

Psalm 91:4

Exodus 25:20

  • God was the Protector of Israel.

  • The presence of God was manifested in the Shekinah-Glory that Jesus came to offer Israel by His presence in the Temple; and for one brief moment Jesus was in the Temple teaching and healing.

  • The Shekinah-Glory departed from the Temple at the time of the Babylonian captivity, but their God was in the Temple for a brief time.

3B. The Rejection of the King [you were unwilling]

  • This is an unmistakable reference to Israel’s moral responsibility.

  • This was a legal and legitimate offer to which the nation said, ‘no.’

4B. The Empty Temple

Matthew 23:38
38 "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

  • Jesus demonstrates this physically.

Matthew 24:1

  • In the historical kingdom the visible presence of Yahweh was manifested in the Temple by the Shekinah-Glory.

  • That Glory departed just prior to the Babylonian captivity as a token of the end of that kingdom.

Ezekiel 9:3

Ezekiel 11:23

  • Now, but for a brief moment, the Messiah Himself was present in the Temple; the King was present.

Luke 19:47

John 12:36-43

  • Now because the nation had rejected Him, He no longer calls the Temple ‘my house’, but ‘your house.’

Matthew 21:13

Matthew 23:38-39
5B. The Lord’s lament of Jerusalem has a ray of divine hope.

  • This inaugurated the Lord’s judgment which will climax in the ‘abomination of desolation.’

Matthew 24:15

  • This satanic usurper will unleash upon Israel a horrible ‘time of trouble.’

Matthew 24:21-22
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

  • Between the time of the Lord’s abandonment of Israel’s ‘house’ and ‘blessed is He that comes’ two things will characterize this era.

  • First, they will not see Him; and secondly, their desolations will be continuous.

Isaiah 62:4


  • It was Christ judgment upon the temple that caused the disciples to raise the questions about the end of the age.

  • It was the Lord’s response to their questions that elicit His greatest recorded eschatological discourse.

  • This message is recorded Matthew 24 & 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21, but the fullest account is in Matthew.

1B. The Setting

  • Jesus had just proclaimed judgment on the Temple.

Matthew 23:38
38 "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

  • Herod began remodeling the Temple in 19 B.C. and it was finished in 63-64 A.D.

  • He built new foundation walls and enlarged the Temple area to 400 X 500 yds.

  • Herod used white marble stones up to 67’ long, 12’ high, and 18’ wide.

  • The gates were gold and silver plated.

  • Josephus notes that when the sun light hit the gates the temple it shone like a snow-clad mountain.

  • Grapevine clusters and Babylonian tapestries of fine linen colored with blue, scarlet, and purple hung as veil at the entrance to the Temple.

1B. The Questions of the Disciples

  • There are a total of four questions.

Matthew 24:3
1. When will these things happen, and

2. What will be the sign of Your coming,

3. And of the end of the age?"
Luke 21:7
4. What will be the sign when these things are about to take place?"
2B. Jesus’ Response to the Questions

1C. The Need for Clarification

  • There are two main events under consideration embodied in these questions.

1. The judgment on Jerusalem

2. The return of Christ to complete the end of the age

  • Confusion abounds in trying to harmonize this discourse among the synoptics.

  • The key to understand Luke’s record with Matthew and Mark is given by Luke himself.

  • The points of agreement between the three. [Matt. 24:4-8, Mark 13:5-8, Luke 21:8-11]

  1. False Christs

  2. Wars and rumors of wars

  3. Nation rising against nations

  4. Kingdoms against kingdoms

  5. Famines and earthquakes

  • Luke adds ‘terrors and great signs from heaven.’ [21:9]

  • All three Synoptics warn that the first appearance of these things does not mean the ‘end of the age.’

Luke 21:9

Matthew 24:8

  • These are merely the birth pangs of a world which must be born anew by the founding of a the Messianic Kingdom.

  • The destruction of Jerusalem is not a sign of the end of the age.

2C. The Variation of Luke’s Record

  • Luke records a parenthetical section which is not picked up by either Matthew or Mark.

  • This section is bracketed by two bookend verses.

Luke 21:12

Luke 21:24

  • It is during this time the city of Jerusalem will be trodden under foot.

  • This is the answer to the disciples question about the judgment of Jerusalem which historically took place in 70 A.D.

  • The only comment Christ makes about the number of years between the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age is that Jerusalem will be under the heel of Gentile domination.

  • Gentile supremacy will end only when the Messiah, the Warrior Lamb, restore the Kingdom to Israel at Christ’s Second Advent.

  • The destruction of Jerusalem is only a shadow in comparison of what is to happen at the end.

  • There is no mention by Luke in this bracketed section about the ‘abomination of desolation’ spoke of by Daniel the prophet.

  • Let the reader read Luke 2:11 with verse 25 and note the flow of the passage.

Luke 21:10-11 with Luke 21:25-26

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