“You Were Unwilling”

“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.” (Matthew 23:37)

These words of Jesus may be some of the saddest in all of the Bible: “I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”  Jesus said He “WANTED” to gather the children of Jerusalem together to Himself, but then He added “YOU were unwilling.”  He wanted them to come, but He would not force them to. The decision was up to them, and sadly, they were “unwilling.”

The same thing is true for us today. God loves us tremendously. He created us for a relationship with Himself. He greatly desires for us to turn from our sin and return to Him.  Like Jesus said of Jerusalem, He “wants” to gather us to Himself.  But He will not force us to do so.  We were created “in His image”, which means among other things that we have a will, and the ability to make decisions for ourselves. We may reject God’s purposes for our lives if we choose to do so. In fact Luke 7:30 says “The Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.” We can reject God’s purpose for OURselves too, if we choose to.

The worst kind of rejection of God’s will for our lives is the refusal to accept God’s offer of salvation from our sins through trusting Christ as our Savior. But even as children of God there may be things which God wants to do in our lives, which we are unwilling to receive. Is there some area in your life today, in which the Lord might be saying to you “I want to …. but YOU are unwilling”?


About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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