Summary: If we knew the heartbreak in our hometowns, we would weep too. Every city and town can be blessed with Jesus’ presence, but the leaders must invite Jesus into the city or town before God’s peace can be experienced.
(Text: Luke 19:41-44)
I share these thoughts with you today in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN
In the reading we heard from Luke’s gospel a few minutes ago, Jesus wept. Does that surprise you? After all, Jesus and God are one in the same. Well, it’s not really a surprise because Jesus was also human, so he had human needs and emotions, including sorrow. This was not the first time he wept. He wept shortly before he raised his friend Lazarus from the dead.
In this passage from Luke, we heard how Jesus wept over the future of Jerusalem and the Jewish people. Jesus also wept because He knew the real tragedy of the moment. He had just entered Jerusalem in triumph. He knew this moment of glory would not last. He knew that the joyous reaction of the crowds was superficial and would not last. He knew that the city would be destroyed, and indeed it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Jerusalem’s destruction was God’s judgment for their failure to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
From the time of David onward, Jerusalem was the centre of Israel and of her religion. But as Jesus looked at it, the temple was no longer a place of glory, holiness, and wonder but a picture of the terrible decay in the Jewish religious system.
The rejection of Jesus by the Jews was predicted in the Old Testament, but Jesus was still saddened by their rejection. This likely reflected God’s heart as he thought about how the Jews rejected His prophets. Jesus was also thinking about His Second Coming and the coming of the kingdom. The things that make for peace were the things that would lead the Jews to salvation. Because they did not realize that Jesus was the long-promised Messiah, they did not realize the way to salvation.
Ironically, Jerusalem means “City of Peace.” Jesus wept because of the great privileges that were being abused. He wept because of the great possibilities that were rejected. He also wept because of the great punishment he knew was coming on the city and the people. Jerusalem had abandoned its faith, rejected the Messiah, and would be laid to waste with terrible judgment. This was their day opportunity. Jesus made himself available to them, but they nailed Him to the cross.
Jerusalem represents all of our hometowns. Have you ever wept or shown concern for your own hometowns? We could weep for our neighbours who don’s know how to have the peace of Christ. They don’t know the cure for the loneliness that results in destructive patterns. In some ways, we are like the Jews. Do we realize it when God does somethings special in our midst? How many people in the world today know God, even though God created the world around us? How many people know God even though the Bible reveals His plan for our lives?