October 8, 2017

What Upsets You the Most Is What Matters the Most

Luke 19:41-44 (NASB)

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

There are three times that Jesus weeps in the Bible. The first is in John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible, where Lazarus has died and his sisters (Jesus’ friends) are outside the tomb weeping. Jesus weeps. People matter. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). Where people of Christian faith live, a natural disaster becomes a national deliverance (e.g. Hurricane Harvey). The second time is in our text when Jesus approaches Jerusalem for the last time before His death on the cross. Jesus weeps because “you (Jerusalem) didn’t recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:44). The Person of Christ matters. The third time Jesus weeps is in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:37). The pain of your sin should matter. The starting point for a new life is marked by the stain of your tears.

Among the ancient pagans, there were numerous weeping gods. The dismembered moon goddess of the ancient Aztecs is portrayed as having tears of gold flowing from her eyes. In Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon, he relates his fabrication of a time when Enoch saw God weeping, tears that fell as rain upon the mountains. We are uninterested in pagan myths, but the tears of Christ should cause us to pause.

  1. We see the great tenderness and compassion of Jesus toward blind sinners.
    He saw the city and wept over it…because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (vs. 41,44). Jesus visited the city 3 times a year from the ages of 12 through 33, a total of 66 visitations. But the people of Jerusalem would reject Him. They expected a different kind of Messiah who would provide for them security in this life, but Christ’s purpose was to give sinners the gift of eternal life. Jerusalem would be complicit in Christ’s death (e.g. “crucify Him”) but yet Christ wept over them.

  2. We see the great tenderness and compassion of Jesus toward blind sinners with no peace.
    “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.” (v. 42). There are a couple of principles in this verse we should note.
    1. Those apart from faith in Jesus the Messiah have no peace.
      It may look like there’s peace within, but the truth is, there is turmoil and conflict in the soul. Only understanding the Person and work of Jesus Christ convinces a sinner of peace with God.
    2. Those apart from faith in Jesus the Messiah have been blinded.
      And if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:3-6). This blindness concerning Jesus Christ is a spiritual attack.

  3. We see the great tenderness and compassion of Jesus toward the coming judgment of sinners.
    For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (vs. 43-44). This judgment was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed the city of Jerusalem (see Matthew 24). This judgment is a type or picture of the coming judgment of the peoples of all the world who reject the Person and work of Jesus Christ. The dual fulfillment of Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation (A.D. 70 and the future coming of Christ).

You can view the video for this sermon HERE.