One day Jesus gets that opportunity to verbally eviscerate the ones that “lead” His people in the wrong direction. In Chapter Matthew 23 Jesus lists 7 things that He has against the scribes and Pharisees and then He makes a general statement over the condition of Israel; “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it.” Jesus then expresses love and sorrow for their shortsighted decisions. As they leave the temple area Jesus tells His disciples of impending subversion of the entire old covenant.
Israel always had issues being faithful to God. They were warned by prophets and they didn’t want to hear that message, killed them even. Sounds like the world today, huh? Except, the woes are to the leaders of God’s people. The lament is expressed for the people of Israel (not just those in Jerusalem). And, the replacement of the Old Law will be for them to taste first. Then to the Gentiles and “all who are far off”. “Brought near” by the blood of Christ into a spiritual Israel (Ephesians 2:11-3). Galatians 4:5 discusses our salvation as “adoption as sons” [into God’s people].
So what? Look back to Matthew 23: Jesus is not talking to the world, or the generalized masses. His repine is directly aimed His people. Can we learn from the mistakes of the Pharisees? Can we hold close to Him? The individual statement is about not receiving the prophets, meaning, not listening to God’s warnings about their behavior. “The first five books of the NT are about how to be saved, the rest are about how to stay saved”, (my grandfather). Hold fast. The story of the Israelites can be our story. We can stop loving God and our worship become reduced to rote repetition. Or we can sing every song with all of our heart. We can pray every prayer from deep in our being. We can seek ways to bind every bit of His Word on our heart and then share our heart with others. It’s always been about the heart. I want to make sure mine is one of tenderness. My God can help with that. He even describes that emotion as a protective hug.