04/27/17 Jesus Wept

READING: 1 Kings 1-2, Luke 19:28-48

“When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it.”

Luke 19:41

The Son of God had come to Jerusalem, but the city rejected Him. The religious leaders called Him a blasphemer. The political leaders saw him as a threat. The common people at first marveled at Him, but turned away from Him as He demanded total life commitment from them. As one writer described it, “The city God loves had no love for him.”* Eventually, Jesus’ enemies would crucify Him, and the people of the city would revile Him as they walked by – and Jesus knew that all of that would happen.

Still, He wept over them in their rebellion. The name of their city meant, “Peace,” but they would have no peace. They had crossed a line, and God would bring judgment on them via military enemies. Their destruction would be severe and complete: “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side,  and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another” (Luke 19:43-44). Within four decades after Jesus spoke those words, the Romans would indeed invade the Holy City and bring it to destruction. God in Jesus had visited the city in grace, but now He would bring judgment on them.

Jesus knew that opportunities of grace for the people of Jerusalem were rapidly disappearing. He understood that judgment was in order, but He did not rejoice at the thought. He realized that His crucifixion was immanent, but He did not find joy in the destruction of those who would kill Him. He wept over those who had welcomed Him into the city as a king, but whose hearts were still far from Him. The door to their salvation was closing – and Jesus wept. 

This picture of a weeping Messiah is a dramatic illustration of the love of Christ. He who loved the city wept over them even as He announced righteous judgment on them. When I see that He’s that kind of Messiah, I only want to love Him more. More specifically, I do not want to give Him reason to weep over me. 

ACTION STEPS:

  • Think deeply about the truth that Jesus wept over the city. Meditate on His unique and patient love.
  • Then, remember that God’s love for us does not preclude His bringing judgment when we don’t follow Him. Follow Him with all your being today.

PRAYER: “Jesus, I praise You for the way You love us. Your love is amazing.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Kings 3-5, Luke 20:1-26

* Butler, T. C. (2000). Luke (Vol. 3, p. 320). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.