by Bailey Smith

Incentives for Maximum Service
Bailey Smith
Matthew 23:37-39

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:37-39)

Every man's actions are always the result of his internal nature. It might be the adventurous pilgrims crossing the Atlantic because of the European suppression of their religious liberty and a desire to establish a place for all men to worship as they please. It might be William Tyndale making frequent trips across the English Channel to have the Bible printed in the language of the people at the superior presses of Antwerp-an act which eventually led to his martyrdom. Or it might be Bill Wallace ministering in China to bodies from his kit and hearts from his Bible. But each action was produced by an inner drive-a desire to live the will of God.

Matthew 23:37-39 is a record of our Lord's lament over Jerusalem. It tells of his love, his people's corruption, and of the brevity of time in which his people have to repent. This passage is not a command, but you can't comprehend its depths without being commanded. In it you will find incentives to live a maximum life for the Christ who cried, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem."

After a bitter and severe denunciation of the scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites (a scathing unequalled in all literature says one commentator), Jesus looks upon his people with heartbreak, compassion, and most probably with tears moistening his grieved face. Dr. W.A. Criswell in his Expository Notes on the Gospel of Matthew says, "In pronouncing judgment upon His people, the wail of love could not be silenced-love rejected and spur ...

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