Theme: Praying for Grace
In this week’s lessons, we look at a moving event in the life of Jesus just before his arrest and crucifixion, when he weeps for the city of Jerusalem over its rejection of Him.
Scripture: Luke 19:41, 42
Now I want to apply this in two ways. First of all, I want to apply it to those who are Christians, for whom the Lord Jesus Christ, weeping over Jerusalem on this occasion, is an example. I want to urge that example upon you. I want to ask it this way: Is there no one you know, lost in sin, for whom you ought to weep? Let me back up a point. I think sometimes I hear people talk about judgment coming, as if it’s something to be desired. I suppose they are looking at injustice, and they want it to end. They want the Lord to come soon and deal with it, and with those who are responsible for it. But we should weep for them because of the tragic condition they are in.
The Lord Jesus Christ, above all people, had the right to call down fire out of heaven upon His enemies. His disciples wanted Him to do it on one occasion. But then was not the time for it. It will come one day, and that’s why we weep. We wouldn’t weep for the wicked if there were no judgment. We’d weep for their victims. The wicked generally do pretty well but, you see, judgment is coming. That’s why we weep. Here on this occasion of his preparing to come into the city, Jesus is our example. He wept over it, rather than asking God to hasten the judgment.
Paul Rees tells the true story of two ministers who were in London at the time of the German blitz. The bombing was frightful. The planes were coming over every night. Homes and innocent people were being destroyed. Thousands had died. They were standing beside a crater where, the day before, a house containing a family had been, and one minister was so exercised by the evil that he said in exasperation, “Oh, how I hate Hitler! I wish I could be God for just ten minutes.” His friend said to him, “My friend, if you were God for ten minutes, I wouldn’t want to be in your universe for ten seconds.”
The second man had the spirit of Jesus Christ. Judgment is coming, but we don’t pray for it. This is the day of God’s grace. Do you know how the Apostle Peter writes about it? He lived in a day when people were saying, “Oh, where is this promise of His coming? Why, all things seem to be continuing just as they were from the beginning.” Peter said that if you think that way, it’s because you’re willfully ignorant. God has exercised judgment in history. He refers to the judgment of the flood, and tells his readers that if anybody says there’s no judgment, no second coming, they’re ignorant and willfully so. But he tells them not to pray for it. A thousand years is a day in the sight of the Lord. And the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, but He is long-suffering to us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. If you and I are followers of Jesus Christ, that should be our spirit. We should desire a prolongation of the day of God’s grace until all who shall be saved might be drawn in. We all know people who still need to respond to God’s grace, and for whom we should weep until they come.
In what way is Jesus our example in weeping for Jerusalem?
Why should we hope for a delay in judgment?
Prayer: Pray for repentance rather than judgment for wrongs done, either to you or to others.
Key Point: We should desire a prolongation of the day of God’s grace until all who shall be saved might be drawn in. We all know people who still need to respond to God’s grace, and for whom we should weep until they come.