The Invitation - Day 9

Luke 19: 41-44

“But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “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. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 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.”

There are two times Jesus wept, as described here, with an allusion to a third later in the book of Hebrews. The word for weep in Greek is klaió, which means to cry aloud as if you couldn’t keep it in no matter how hard you tried.

It always breaks my heart to see another person weep this way, and when I read about Jesus weeping, it evokes the same feelings.  What’s wrong, Jesus?  Why does this hurt so bad, Jesus?  What can I do to make it better, Jesus?  These are all things I want to say to Him in these moments.

The two times we know that Jesus wept like this was the story above and when he was outside the tomb of Lazarus, his friend, who had died.  When someone dies, especially someone you’re close to, weeping seems like a natural response.  But in the Lazarus story, I believe Jesus knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead in mere moments, so I don’t think he wept for Lazarus.

In that story, I think Jesus wept for all the hurt and pain sin and death caused.  Remember, sin and death were never a part of God’s plan for us.  God’s plan for us was Eden, a place without death, mourning, crying, or pain.  But we chose to distrust God; we rebelled, and sin and death became a part of our story.  

So Jesus cries at the tomb of Lazarus for all the other people who were weeping at the grave of Lazarus and all those who will ever call at the tomb of a loved one.

But why was he crying as he looked upon Jerusalem?

Well, he knew his time on Earth was coming to a close.  He knew he had tried repeatedly to break through the thick skulls of the religious leaders, many of whom were not only corrupted by their many compromises with the Roman Empire but also had come to believe that they had all the correct answers to all the questions of Scripture.  They were unwilling to listen to what Jesus said because they were right and he was wrong.

So Jesus weeps over Jerusalem because he knows what’s coming.  He knows that because of their hard hearts and refusal to receive Jesus as their king, Jerusalem would fall, God’s people would be scattered, and far too many would go to their grave rejecting Jesus’ message.

You see, all of us are invited to receive Jesus as our King, Lord, Savior, Messiah, and friend, but two things can keep us from saying yes.

The first is free will.  All of us are free to choose to follow Jesus or free to choose to reject Jesus.  When God created us, He didn’t create robots with no choice but to do what He said.  No, He gave us the freedom to choose so that our love for Him wouldn’t be required but chosen.  So we are free to choose or reject him; the choice is ours.

Our pride and selfishness are the second things that keeps us from saying yes to Jesus. When we think we’ve got all the answers, when we think we know all the truth there is to know, and when we believe our way is the best, we can miss all the many ways Jesus shows up, all the many ways Jesus speaks to us,  and all the many things Jesus has still to teach us. Jesus said, “You did not recognize it when God visited you.”

God wants to save everyone through Jesus and His Holy Spirit (I Peter 3:9), but He won’t force us.  The choice is ours, and He weeps bitterly for everyone who rejects Him.  But for those who choose to call Him Lord and Savior, He throws a party unlike anything we’ve ever seen here (Luke 15:7).

Questions to consider as you study together:
  1. What kinds of things have caused, or do you think would cause, you to weep?
  2. Do you believe God is on your side and desperately wants to save you?  Why or why not?
  3. PRAYING TOGETHER - Pray that you would each have the ability to see God for who He is, a God of love who weeps for you to know Him.

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

Daily Study Podcast

Download a PDF Version of our Series Guide

The Abide Daily Podcast

Thank You for Supporting the Ministry of Crosswalk

Posted in
Posted in

No Comments