Luke – Doors Wide Open!
Those of us who have kids know that they love us best when they want something. Kids are kids. They think we don’t know their tricks of manipulation to get what they want or think they need. Parents want love and hugs so we fall for it at first until it goes over the top with doing tasks without being told, suddenly helping their siblings instead of fighting with them, doing their homework, or even washing the car! Yes, that happened once with one of our kids. Washing the car was certainly over the top! When “love” is expressed as a bargaining chip, we would sit them down so we could get to the heart of what is really going on…AFTER, they finish all these good activities, of course! (Smiling.)
Love expressed in praise, is awesome if it is pure, from a heart expecting nothing in return.
Jesus has gained a great deal of popularity because of His love, compassion for all people, and his miracles of restoration and life. He is like no other the world has ever seen. So in response, people burst into praise for Jesus. Jesus allows it but knows their hearts well for He is also God, sent from God in human form. He knows that many praise Him for only what He has done. Many praise Him for Who He is. He heard all their praise.
But, Jesus knows what will come after the praise. He knows His enemies. He knows the mission He must complete as the Lamb of sacrifice for all the sin of the world. So, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem “because you did not recognize it when God visited you.” You, the chosen children of God just didn’t “get it”. I was here and you rejected Me.”
Luke 19, New Living Translation
Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”
34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.
36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”
39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
41 But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. 43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”
THINK ABOUT IT…
(With help fro Warren Wiersbe, Commentator)
This is the only time that Jesus permitted a public demonstration on His behalf, and He did so for at least two reasons. First, He was fulfilling prophecy and presenting Himself as Israel’s king (Zech. 9:9). How much of this the crowd really understood we cannot tell, even though they responded by quoting their praises from a messianic psalm (Ps. 118:25–26). No doubt many of the Passover pilgrims thought that Jesus would now get rid of the Roman invaders and establish the glorious kingdom.
The second reason for this demonstration was to force the Jewish religious leaders to act. They had hoped to arrest Him after the Passover (Matt. 26:3–5), but God had ordained that His Son be slain on Passover as the “Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29; and see 1 Cor. 5:7). Every previous attempt to arrest Jesus had failed because “his hour was not yet come” (John 7:30; 8:20; also see John 13:1; 17:1). When they saw this great public celebration, the leaders knew that they had to act, and the willing cooperation of Judas solved their problem for them (Matt. 26:14–16).
While the crowd was rejoicing, Jesus was weeping! This is the second occasion on which our Lord wept openly, the first being at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35). There He wept quietly, but here He uttered a loud lamentation like one mourning over the dead. In this, He was like the prophet Jeremiah, who wept bitterly over the destruction of Jerusalem (Jer. 9:1; see also the book of Lamentations). Jonah looked on Nineveh and hoped it would be destroyed (Jonah 4), while Jesus looked at Jerusalem and wept because it had destroyed itself.
No matter where Jesus looked, He found cause for weeping. If He looked BACK, He saw how the nation had wasted its opportunities and been ignorant of their “time of visitation.” If He looked within, He saw spiritual ignorance and blindness in the hearts of the people. They should have known who He was, for God had given them His Word and sent His messengers to prepare the way.
As He looked AROUND, Jesus saw religious activity that accomplished very little. The temple had become a den of thieves, and the religious leaders were out to kill Him. The city was filled with pilgrims celebrating a festival, but the hearts of the people were heavy with sin and life’s burdens.
As Jesus looked AHEAD, He wept as He saw the terrible judgment that was coming to the nation, the city, and the temple. In AD 70, the Romans would come and, after a siege of 143 days, kill 600,000 Jews, take thousands more captive, and then destroy the temple and the city.
Why did all of this happen? Because the people did not know that God had visited them! “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).
Do our hearts cause Jesus to weep?
Do we recognize God at work in us and in the lives of those around us?
What causes us to praise God?
Jesus IS coming back, you know.
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Lord, nothing seems to break your heart more than what is inside our hearts. Oh, Lord, cleanse our hearts of all that is offensive to you. Restore the joy of Your salvation. Renew a right Spirit in us. Guide our every thought and action. Help us to recognize You and the evidence of Your work in us, all around us and in the lives of others. Keep us all close to You, focused on You, hearing you and quickly obeying You. It is all about You. You are God and we are not. We praise you with hearts, minds and souls full of love for you.
In Jesus Name, Amen