By J.R. Miller
Jesus came as the Messiah of His people--but His own received Him not. A few individuals received Him, among them the Twelve and a little company of men and women. These were ardently devoted to Him. They believed in His Messiahship, although they did not understand what it meant. But His nation accepted Him not. They opposed Christ from the beginning, and their opposition grew in bitterness, until at last they nailed Him on a Cross! This was their return for His love!
Christ's reproofs of the nation for their rejection, were very severe. Some of them were spoken in the temple, before He finally left it. Some were spoken to the disciples from the Mount of Olives. He laid bare the hearts of the teachers and rulers. They bound heavy burdens on the people--but they themselves did not touch them with one of their fingers. They devoured widows' houses, and then made long prayers--that men might think them holy. They paid tithes of the smallest things--but justice, mercy and faithfulness, they omitted from their lives. They were careful to keep their dishes clean--but they paid no heed to their own inner lives. It was with breaking heart that He
told them of the doom that was impending. "O 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--but you were not willing. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate!"
There are two marvels here. One is that the rulers could have rejected Jesus Christ. He came doing good, going about in a marvelous ministry of mercy. He came offering them all the blessings of eternal life. How could they despise and reject Him?
The other marvel is that Jesus kept love in His heart through all their rejection. On Palm Sunday, as He was riding into the city amid the
acclaim and enthusiasm of the people, when He passed the crest of the hill and the city came into His view. He broke into loud weeping and cried, "If you had known, in this your day, even you, the things which belong to your peace! but now they are hidden from your eyes." The love of Christ failed not, though unrequited, though treated so unjustly, though the answer to it was a Cross! His answer to man's rejection--was redemption!