Let there be no doubt that Jesus was thoroughly Jewish in his appearance, customs and language. The passage in Matt 23:37 is neither unique nor surprising.
First, Jesus said the same thing on a previous occasion in Luke 13:34, 35
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones
those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children
together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you
would not have it! “Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I
say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say,
‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’”
Further, Jesus wept over Jerusalem as recorded in Luke 19:41.
Second, Jesus alludes to several OT passages in this brief speech in Matt 23:37, 38.
- Matt 23:35 - “On you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah”. (See 2 Chron. 24:20–21). There were many more.
- Ps 91:4 - He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
- Deut 32:11 - As an eagle stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, He spread His wings to catch them and carried them on His pinions.
It is one of the great ironies of history that Jerusalem, the "City of Peace" has experienced more wars that most other places. Jesus wept over Jerusalem for two reasons:
- the bloodshed that would occur there, eg, Acts 7:60, 12:2, see also 1 Thess 2:14, 15, James 5:10, etc.
- The fact that the Jews had effectively rejected their long-awaited Messiah and thus -
Look, your house is left to you desolate (v38)
Matt 21:43 - "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be
taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.