“34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, and you were unwilling!” (Luke 13:34) Updated ASV
If there is a verse in the Bible that disproves Calvinism, this is it. This should be one of those (of many) end-all-arguments type of verses, but Calvinists obviously don’t see it that way. I’m pretty sure they know this verse is there, yet they continue to cling to their theology. Bewildering, to say the least.
As I have said many times in my posts, one of the most important rules of correctly interpreting God’s Word on any given subject, is to group all the verses that are clearly stated and clearly understood, and use those verses to form the foundation of our position. In other words, those are the verses that must be used to interpret all the other verses dealing with the same subject that are not quite so clear. If we get this process backwards, we will likely come up with the wrong meaning. Luke 13:34 is one of those foundational verses.
Here Jesus expresses sorrow over the fact that Jerusalem doesn’t listen to the prophets that He sends to them, but instead kills them. He expresses anguish of heart over their unwillingness to allow Him to gather their children as a hen does her brood under her wings.
If the election of God’s people is unconditional, then why does Jesus express so much sorrow and anguish of heart over their unwillingness to follow? Let’s consider what is really being revealed here, that this is a clear revelation of God’s heart and of the heart of man, in relation to salvation. God’s heart is that all come to Christ. Man’s heart must be willing.
If God has already chosen who is going to believe, then it makes no sense that He would lament over those who don’t. Furthermore, Jesus clearly states that He would have gathered them unto Himself often if only they had been willing. That does not sound like unconditional election to me.
Does this verse not make far more sense when we understand that the atonement of Christ is unlimited, and that salvation is available to all? Does this verse not make far more sense when we understand that God truly does desire all to come to faith in His Son? When we understand that Jesus died for all, and that salvation is available to all, and that it’s His desire for all to be saved, then we can easily understand why it would break God’s heart when people reject what He has provided for them.
Plain statements like this one by Jesus Himself, go a long way in confirming Arminian theology. It always amazes me when I read a Calvinist referring to Arminianism as heresy. I suppose it’s the idea that if one calls something heresy, it gives the listener the idea that what they teach, can’t be. The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.