Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, (Luke 19:4)
Luke records the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. (Luke 19:28-44) The Lord rode into the city on a colt. The disciples spread their clothes on the road and lavish Him with praises “saying:" 'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!' Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" (Luke 19:38) One would think such an occasion would bring happiness, but instead it invoked tears from the Savior.
We are often touched when others cry –the tears of a child or of a grieving mother or wife. But, when a man of strength, power, and conviction cries, we know we are in the presence of deep emotion. Why did Jesus weep?
Jesus wept out of sympathy for human suffering and sorrow. He predicts troublesome days for Jerusalem. (Luke 19:41-44) In chapter 23 Luke again records Jesus: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!' (Luke 23:28-29) This he said foreseeing the destruction of Jerusalem that would come in 70 AD. It was compassion for the human race that motivated him to become poor that we might be rich. (II Corinthians 8:9) It was compassion that prompted him in his tireless ministry to the lepers, lame, blind, hurting mothers, and sorrowful fathers. It is this compassion that draws the hardened sinner to him today. This is what makes Jesus so dear to his disciples.
Jesus wept out of regret for those who are in the wrong. Jesus promised God would punish Jerusalem "because you did not know the time of your visitation." (Luke 19:44) God was in their midst and they rejected him! Are we also affected by sin in the same way? Do the foolish drunkard, foul-mouthed fool, the negligent parent, and the fool who espouses error leave us with a feeling of contempt and sorrow? They should, because this is how Jesus felt!
Thus, as Jesus proceeds toward Jerusalem for one final confrontation with its religious leaders, he is overwhelmed with grief and tears. His tears break into a passionate lamentation, for God had been in their midst and they did not acknowledge him.
Jesus must feel the same way toward a society like ours. His word is found in almost every home in America, but it is virtually ignored.
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By George Slover
From Expository Files 15.3; March 2008