Monday in the Twenty-Third Week of Ordinary Time

Luke 19:41-44

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

As we read yesterday of our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, today we take up a lament of Jesus over the holy city.  Luke is the only gospel to mention this ironic expression of profound sorrow from Jesus’ lips coming just after his exclamation to the Pharisees that “if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”  That is, the lamentation comes right after the people’s expression of praise.  We spoke yesterday of the people’s fickle hearts.  These two episodes juxtaposed against each other highlight our fickle nature and how we so easily change given our circumstances: Those who praise him now will reject him later.

So as Jesus draws near the city, he who receives the people’s praises begins to weep, not over himself and the suffering that awaits him, but over the city itself which destruction he prophesies both here and again a few days hence.  It was a dire judgment of God on the city wreaked by the Romans in A.D. 70, roughly forty years after Jesus’ prophetic words.  It was truly a horrible event as described by Josephus, a Jewish historian, writing of it at the end of the first century.

But at this point, we wish to underscore our Lord’s compassion even in judgment.  Jesus says that the judgment rendered by God was over their rejection of himself, since they “did not know the time of [their] visitation.”  Had they received their king, this would not have happened.  Of course, that they would not receive him was prophesied (Isaiah 53, to list just one reference), and was an essential part of God’s plan in redeeming His people.  The mystery of the relation between God’s foreordination and man’s freedom of will is beyond my feeble mind to understand or explain and is unnecessary to cover for this devotion.  But what is necessary to cover is our Lord’s heart for sinful man.  God is not happy when executing discipline upon His children, no more than we are when we must do the same.  Jesus can only weep as he peers into the future and sees the city surrounded by armies.  It is a pitiful sight, especially in contrast to the people’s praises presently surrounding him.  We do not know the future, and it is good that we do not.  But we do know that whatever comes, be it blessing or sorrow, that our Lord is not absent but rejoices or weeps with us.  And He calls us to do the same with our brothers and sisters in Christ (Romans 12:15).  In this way, the ministry of the Church fills up the sufferings of Christ as we care for one another even in the midst of judgment.  Then let us bear one another’s burdens as he did ours all the way to the cross (Galatians 6:2).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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