Triumph and TearsLuke 19:41-44Theme: Grief.This week’s lessons encourage us to follow Christ’s example in weeping for the lost. LessonThere in Jerusalem was God himself in human form walking among men and women and demonstrating who he was by his acts, by his teaching, by his works, by his miracles. These people just would not have him. They rejected him and they did so willingly. Jesus said to them, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42). Jesus’ use of the word “now” implies that it was not hidden from their eyes previously. It had previously been evident. But now he was going to be killed, he was going to be taken away, and now it would be hidden. But it was not hidden during the days of his flesh. Yet they rejected it.
I think he says the same thing in chapter 23 of Matthew, in that other passage that makes it so clear as he almost weeps over Jerusalem there, saying, “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matt. 23:37). That was the problem–they would not. And as they would not, is this not also true of us, and our culture, and our society? Christ is proclaimed. Christ is known. The Gospel is preached, but men and women will not come. Are we not right to say that the same thing that moved Jesus to tears on that occasion must also touch the heart of the Almighty when he sees the willful unbelief and ignorance of the people of our own time?
Jesus said something else along those lines: “They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you” (Luke 19:44). There are times in the history of nations, just as there are times in the history of churches and individuals, when God comes in a special way. There are other times when it seems that God does not speak. But by contrast there are also times God speaks very clearly. The Holy Spirit moves, the Gospel is made known, people are praying. Those are great opportunities for repentance, great occasions for revival. But here were a people who had the greatest visitation this world has ever seen. Yet Jesus was not recognized for who he was, so opportunity was lost.
There are times of opportunity for all of us. Jesus Christ is preached and the Holy Spirit takes that message and carries it home to human hearts, as he may be doing to your heart in this hour. God would be saying to you that now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. The Holy Spirit urges acceptance of Christ upon you. Don’t miss the opportunity, because if you pass by the opportunity, you fall into ignorance that can only be described as willful ignorance and destruction, spiritual destruction, separation from God for all eternity. Jesus weeps, and does he not weep for you if you hear his great salvation and turn from it? Isn’t it the time to come if you have never done so? Isn’t it time to respond to your Savior?
Not only does this story tell us something about Jesus – about his humanity and the fact that he was a man of tender sympathies. Not only does it tell us about ourselves in our sin – something that calls forth the tears of Christ. This also says something to us who profess to be Christian people. Jesus is our Lord and our example, so what was true for him ought also to be true for us. If he was moved by the peril of the ungodly, ought we not to be moved also? If he wept for those who are without salvation, ought we not to weep as well?
What was to be hidden after Jesus’ death?
Describe what Dr. Boice said about opportunity and the Gospel.
How should Christians be impacted by Jesus’ tears?
ApplicationDon’t miss your opportunity! If you have heard the call of Christ, don’t delay; respond today.