Matthew 23:37 is problematic for the deterministic stance calvinism posits:
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
If calvinism is correct, then Jesus’ statement that He “often wanted to gather the children of Jerusalem together” is problematic in two areas. First of all, this passage implies that Jesus wanted to do something that He was not able to do and it even further implies that the people were not willing to do what He wanted them to do. If those who were not willing were not effectually called then they could not be “unwilling” because they had to choice to choose to be willing.
The truth is, Jesus “often wanted to gather them together BUT THEY were not willing.” That is what the text says. There is no caveat here that says, “Jesus wanted to gather them but didn’t because it was not God’s will and He could not have said “they were not willing” if He knew that God never intended to save them in the first place.
The only possible objection would be the statement, “Jesus is not talking about saving them.” In His humanity, he is pointing to the frailty of life and the fact of judgment that faces all who are lost and without Christ. This MIGHT work IF Jesus had not said, “How often I would have gathered you together.” Calvinism cannot comport with “Jesus wanting to often gather them together” with “they were not willing.” These two phrases cannot be reconciled in a calvinist concept. One of two things has to be true; one, Jesus was not willing together them together and so they were not willing or 2 had Jesus really wanted to gather them together they WOULD HAVE been willing. Verse 37 cannot be reconciled within the calvinist framework as it stands.