Matthew 23:34-36 These prophets, wise men, and scribes were probably leaders in the early church who were persecuted, scourged, and killed, as Jesus predicted. The people of Jesus' generation said they would not act as their fathers did in killing the prophets whom God had sent to them, but they were about to kill the Messiah Himself and His faithful followers. Thus they would become guilty of all the righteous blood shed through the centuries.
Matthew 23:35 Jesus was giving a brief history of Old Testament martyrdom. Abel was the first martyr; Zechariah was the last mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, which ended with 2 Chronicles. Zechariah is a classic example of a man of God who was killed by those who claimed to be God's people.
Matthew 23:37 Jesus wanted to gather His people together as a hen protects her chicks under her wings, but they wouldn't let Him. Jesus also wants to protect us if we will just come to Him. Many times we hurt and don't know where to turn. We reject Christ's help because we don't thing He can give us what we need. But who knows our needs better than our Creator? Those who turn to Jesus will find that He helps and comforts as no one else can.
Matthew 23:37 Jerusalem was the capital city of God's chosen people, the ancestral home of David, Israel's greatest king, and the location of the temple, the earthly dwelling place of God. It was intended to be the center of worship of the true God and a symbol of justice to all people. But Jerusalem had become blind to God and insensitive to human need. Here we see the depth of Jesus' feelings for lost people and for His beloved city, which would soon be destroyed.