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Sunday, March 4, 2018

posted Mar 6, 2018, 6:37 AM by Site Administrator


HE WEPT

 

Luke 19:28-48

Key Verse 19:41

 

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it

 

First, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord" (28-40). Look at verse 28. "After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem." Now finally, Jesus had come to his destination – Jerusalem where he would die on the cross as the ransom sacrifice for many. It was his lonely journey from Galilee to Jerusalem – no one recognized the agony he had carried in his heart, even his own apostles. He kept telling them what's going to happen to him in Jerusalem, but they were only concerned about who would be the prime minister in his kingdom. Bethphage or Bethany was located on the southeastern slopes of the Mount Olives, just about two miles east of Jerusalem. There, Jesus prepared his entry to Jerusalem. He sent two of his disciples, saying, "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.'" The direction sounded a little shady – he was telling his disciples to bring him a donkey without asking the owner. But as they obeyed his instruction, they found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"They replied, "The Lord needs it," and the owners let them take their colt. 

 

"The Lord needs it." This expression reminds us of the virgin Mary's submission to God's will. Even though it meant for her to give up her marriage dream, or even sacrifice her entire life, she obeyed God's will saying, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." (Lk 1:38) "The Lord needs it." This simple statement proclaims that Jesus is the true owner of all things – our life, all our materials, talents, and even that donkey. When he wants to use our life, we must submit it to him. It is our divine duty as his creatures, and at the same time, it is the greatest privilege to be used by God. Jesus' triumphal entry was prepared through his disciples' absolute obedience to his instruction, and the colt owners' absolute submission to Jesus' ownership.

 

When the disciples brought the colt, they threw their cloaks on it, and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. In this way, they made red carpet for their king. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Their praise contains divine truth.

 

Jesus is the blessed king; Jesus becoming king is great blessing to his subjects - he brings blessings to them; he makes them happy and joyful. Often kings are disasters to their people - under their rule, people suffer terribly, being oppressed, mistreated, and tortured; indeed, many kings are cursed kings. Our king Jesus is the blessed king; we are so happy and thankful that from the depth of our hearts we too shouts, "Blessed is the king Jesus." It is really good to live as his people, following his guidance, and obeying his commands. 

 

Jesus comes in the name of the Lord. This shows why Jesus came - he came to serve the will of the Lord. He was a free man, even the Creator God. He could have lived for himself and done everything according to his will and purpose. But instead, he came to live for the Lord and fulfill his purpose. His first prayer topic was to hallow God's name; his second prayer topic was, "God's kingdom come." And his third prayer topic was, "God's will be done." He did everything the Lord wanted him to do whether he liked it or not, even coming to Jerusalem to die on the cross as a ransom sacrifice for many. As a result, God's will prospered in and through his life, and we are the very ones who enjoy the benefits of his struggle. We are free men and women. We can be our own men, doing whatever we feel like doing. But instead, we choose to come in the name of the Lord, doing whatever God wants us to do. This is how we can follow Jesus Christ our Lord. 

 

Look at verse 38b. They shouted, "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" It is really amazing that they saw the meaning of Jesus' entry to Jerusalem as "peace in heaven and glory in the highest." This kind of doxology or statement is not ordinary, but very divine and comes from God. This is man's doxology to Jesus – peace in heaven. We see similar doxology in Luke 2:14, offered by the angels, at the first Christmas worship service.  The angels praised, saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." In angel's eyesJesus' birth meant peace on earth; in men'eyes, however, Jesus' entry to Jerusalem meant peace in heavenJesus entered Jerusalem as a ransom sacrifice to die on the cross for the sin of the world. Thus, Jesus would make reconciliation between God and men, and thereby, he would bring peace between God and men. Before Jesus, God had to punish all people due to their sins; he had to sentence them to death. As a result, there was tension going on in heaven. High ranking angels gathering together to carry out God's anger on people, figuring out their strategy, just like tension between the USA and North Korea. But now God does not need to do so, because someone else, Jesus Christ, paid the price of their sins, and thereby, peace treaty between heaven and earth is established. Because of Jesus, the whole heaven enjoys peace.

 

Jesus' entry to Jerusalem meant "glory in the highest." The word, "glory" means "to be revealed of God." Whatever of God such as God's love, God's power, God's patience, God's wisdom, God's plan is revealed, it is awesome, wonderful and amazing; simply, it is glorious. Now through Jesus' entry to Jerusalem, God's glory was revealed very clearly in the highest. God's love for mankind was revealed. As the Judge, God had to punish all sinners, but instead, He came up with a ransom sacrifice, even his own Son's death on the cross - that much God wanted people to live; that was the expression of God's love for all sinners, and it was indeed, astounding - He sacrificed his own son for sinners. God's justice was well revealed as well. God is the Ultimate Judge. Couldn't he just say, "I will forgive all of you"? Maybe, He could, and no one would make an issue of it. But He did not do that. Instead, He came up with a ransom sacrifice, even his own son's death. He denied his own power and authority to uphold justice. God's justice must be met. This makes us think a lot about how we must live our life - no longer in sin, but strive to live a holy and righteous life.

 

In his entry, Jesus rode on a donkey, the foal of a donkey. How did he look? He looked really funny, like a comedian. No one wants to look funny, especially when they are really great like king. But by riding on a donkey, Jesus instantly removed all the barriers between himself and people that everyone could come to him freely. Jesus, the Creator God, made himself accessible this way. His desire for people to come to him was so great that he, the Creator God, was willing to look like a funny comedian. In his entry, God's burning passion to have fellowship with humans was revealed utmost clear. What are we humans that God should desire to have fellowship with us so much like this? We are really amazed at this. Now we can be assured that today God wants to have fellowship with us; He wants to come to our house and eat with us, enjoying conversation with us. Only if we open our hearts, he will come in and eat with us. This is what God desires. 

 

Also, we see God's gentleness and humility very well - he rode on a donkey. We remember the prophet Zechariah's testimony about Jesus' triumphal entry. He shouted, "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zec 9:9) Zechariah could not believe what he saw – the King of the Jews was coming to his own capital city Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. So, he kept mentioning about it, saying, "on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Through this, he could see what kind of king he would be – righteous, but at the same time, gentle – not a scary king who threatens his people with his power, but a humble and gentle king. So, he shouted in amazement and happiness, "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you,…" What kind of person is our God? He is gentle, coming to us so gently and humbly, willing to ride on a donkey in coming to us so that we may not feel threatened or scared. Jesus wants to come to you, and you have no reason to be afraid - he will lead you to the path of righteousness, and you will find rest for your soul. Jesus revealed God's glory through riding on a donkey in his triumphal entry. We welcome him into our life happily. We also strive to follow his example so that God's glory may be revealed in our life too. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.

 

Second, "He wept" (41-44). Look at verse 41. "As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it."There is a great contrast between the people who, with such great emotional high, shouted and praised, and Jesus who wept over Jerusalem. We are shocked. Jesus wept! Throughout his messianic ministry, Jesus was strong; nothing could stop him; no despair at all. Despite all challenges and persecutions, he kept on doing the work of God. Only in few places, we see Jesus weeping. In John 11, we see Jesus weeping when he saw his beloved people perishing under the power of death – he did not make them suffer so terribly like that, but because of their unbelief and sins, they were perishing – it brought Jesus such pain in his heart, so he wept over them. (Jn 11:35) Now here, we see that he wept again, showing tears. The Creator God, as he was living among his own people, saw something very painful that he wept. Why did he weep at this moment? Look at verses 42 through 44. Let's read these verses responsively: 

 

42and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-- but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They 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."

 

Jesus wept because he foresaw the punishment the people in Jerusalem would suffer as the consequences of their sins. According to Jesus' words, in AD 70, the Roman General Titus captured the city, and all those who remained in the city suffered greatly. People were slaughtered, the temple was destroyed, and Jerusalem was laid desolate. Jesus said in Luke 13:34-35, "O 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! Look, your house is left to you desolate." God loved them and kept sending his servants to tell them to repent and turn to God. But they were not willing to turn to God. Instead, they mistreated his servants and killed them. As a result, finally, they would see their own destruction. When Jesus thought about how they would be destroyed and slaughtered, he was painful that he wept over them. In Genesis chapter 6, when the corruption of people's heart reached its limit, and when people became nothing but flesh, and thereby, lost any meaning to exist on the earth, God's heart was filled with pain. Only if they had turned to God in repentance, God would have given them a glorious life, with the hope of eternal life in the kingdom of God, but they did not see it, and lived in sin only to invite such disaster and violence. At this, God's heart was filled with pain. 

 

Jesus says, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace,…" Jesus felt such pain because in his eyes, only if they knew what would bring them peace, they would do it, then, they would have become children of God and enjoyed heavenly peace and happiness. What would bring you peace? In view of these God-believing people's failure, we see that saying, "I believe in Jesus" is not the way to have peace. Doing many religious things as Christians is not the way to have peace. Each person must repent. It is repentance in Jesus Christ that brings you peaceturn to God in repentance by faith in Jesus. 

 

But they could not see it. It was hidden from their eyes. Why was it hidden from their eyes? It was because they were very religious, even zealous in their way of worshiping God, even willing to lay down their life rather than choosing to deny God. Because of such zeal for God, because of such religious and moralistic life (which was far cleaner life than other Gentile peoples' life), they were confident that God was their God. So, even though God sent his servant Jesus to them and even if Jesus proved his true identity as God's messenger through his words and many miracles, they were not willing to accept it. Because of their religious pride, because of their moralistic life, they did not think that they should repent or pay attention to this young Rabbi. Notice here the expression, "If you, even you..." "Even you..." They thought that they were better than the unbelieving Gentiles. But in Jesus' eyes, they were worse than the Gentiles. But "even" they had a chance, only if they knew the way of peace. We must not be deceived by our religious life, or even moralistic life. Instead, each person must turn to God in repentance in Jesus Christ from the self-seeking life to the life of pursuing God's will and purpose. That's the way of peace in Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus says in verse 44, "because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." It means that God came to them to help them and bless them, but they failed to recognize him. Why? It was because in their eyes, the Creator God, the Awesome God in glory, did not come to them, but what they saw was a human being, named Jesus, teaching them the word of God. It was because Jesus did not halo around him; it was because Jesus did not have angel's wings on his back. They didn't accept that God sent Jesus to help them. Deep down in their hearts, they had pride as God's chosen people, thinking that they were already God's children.

 

"If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace,…" Many people say, "God loves me."And with this, they do whatever they want to do; they reject God's will upon their lives to do what they want to do. They never know that only a dreadful life is waiting for them – sorrowful, lonely, and miserable. When people refuse to turn to God to enjoy their sinful pleasures a little more, Jesus weeps over them, for he knows where they are going, and what is waiting for them. When people reject God's will upon their lives only to pursue worldly life, Jesus weeps over them. Like a father who has tried all possible means to help his sonto be good and sound, weeps over him, as he chooses his own sinful life and goes to Las Vegas, Jesus weeps over us. 

 

So many people, even many church going people, live in great pain and misery – their family is broken, their childrenare scattered, and they are utterly lonely and sorrowful; most of all, their life is sinful; when they go home after work, there is nothing else to do except watching TV until they fall asleep, with no one to welcome them. So, many people weep over someone else's shoulders, saying, "I don't know why my life is so hard." Jesus says, "Only if you, even you, had known what would bring you peace,…" What would bring them peace? It is their true repentance. They must repent and turn to God really, not just some superficial religious life, or seeking some emotional high. We must recognize the time of God's coming to us. God has seen you and heard you, and come to you to help you. Then, how? God sends his servants, Bible teachers and shepherds to you to help you and bless you. When we recognized the time of God's coming to us, we all accepted God's love for us and turned to God in repentance; that was the beginning of our new life in Jesus Christ. Those who recognize the time of God's coming to them are touched by God's love for them and turn to God in repentance. But those who rely on their own righteousness, those who think that they are okay, do not recognize the time of God's coming to them; they do not know what would bring them peace. Jesus weeps over them

 

When people are hesitant to turn to God decisively, when their heart clings to their sin, Jesus weeps over them. When they decide to go for their own worldly and sinful life, even rejecting God's will, Jesus' heart is broken; he weeps over them. He is the Creator God; he can do whatever he wants to do, but he is gentle and humble and honors their own choice, and he weeps for them, because he foresees terrible disasters waiting for themJesus says, "If you, even you, had only known what would bring you peace,…" It is the time that we must stop wandering in the world; it is the time that we must turn to God decisively in repentance, so that we can please Jesus, our King. Now is the time of God's coming to you to help you, strengthen you and bless you. Don't reject God any more. Don't make Jesus weep over you.

 

Third, "My house will be a house of prayer" (45-48).Look at verses 45 and 46. After his triumphal entry, Jesus did not go to the palace, but to the temple, because he was not a political king, but a spiritual king. When Jesus entered the temple, he began driving out those who were selling. "It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.'" The temple is God's dwelling place where people should come to have fellowship with God in prayer and pray for all peoples on earth. But here, the Jews were using the command of God and the temple for their own business purpose

 

When the people praised Jesus in his entry to Jerusalem, it seemed that the people of Jerusalem were right with God. It seemed that they worshiped God because they had the beautiful temple worship service. It seemed that they were children of God because they read the Bible, prayed to God and believed in God. But Jesus wept over Jerusalem, because he saw what great disaster was waiting for them as the result of their corruption. People had religiosity, and even many of them were zealous for God. But Jesus wept over them, because he saw their inner corruption. Outward religiosity does not mean anything when people are corrupt inwardly. The corruption of the temple was but an example of these religious people's inner corruption. Jesus did not let these materialistic people corrupt the temple – he destroyed the market and drove them out. 

 

"My house will be a house of prayer." This short statement of Jesus shows us what Christian church is aboutIt is fundamentally, God's house where God dwells - we must be sincere whenever we come to God for we are coming to God's house. And the reason why we come to church is not for any other reason but to pray - it is a house of prayer, and even for all nations. Church is the place where those who seek God's will gather together in one mind and purpose, and pray for God's will to be done on earth. It is the place where children of God who seek God's will and purpose gather together and pursue God's world mission in one mind and heart. Let's pray that our church may be a house of prayer for all nations. Let's pursue God's will and purpose upon our life as children of God. 

 

Look at verse 47. Every day Jesus was teaching at the temple. His time was running out moment by moment; after his entry to Jerusalem, he had only about seven days to live, and Jerusalem, despite her religiosity, was corrupt to the core, deserving God's punishment. But Jesus did not despair. In hope, he taught people the word of God every day. By teaching the word of God every day, Jesus challenged the corruption of his own people in Jerusalem. 

 

One Word:Recognize The Time Of God's Coming To You And Repent!

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