Today’s Reading: Luke 19:41-48
Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 24:1-22; 1 Corinthians 1:26-2:16
“And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it. . .” (Luke 19:41)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jesus is filled with love for Jerusalem. That is why He weeps. Jesus knows that in a generation, the city and its temple will be destroyed. Jesus prophesies, and every painful detail comes to pass.
It came to a head in 70 AD. Romans were harsh occupiers and the Jews were rebellious; but when taxes were refused and Romans were killed, it was one rebellion too many. The Roman General Titus led several legions of troops against Jerusalem around the time of Passover. Consequently, Jews from all over Israel were in Jerusalem for the feast and would get caught in the siege. At first, the Jews fought valiantly, holding the city for months. It seemed the Lord would deliver Jerusalem from this vastly superior force. But resistance only infuriated the Romans. Eventually, they broke through the city walls and their bloodlust was unstoppable. The soldiers ruthlessly slaughtered and looted. Even Titus couldn’t control the chaos. When it was over, the temple was burned to the ground, the golden items in it were pillaged, hundreds of thousands lay dead, and the city for which Jesus wept lay in utter ruins.
Jesus wept. He knew the same people who had rejected God’s prophets, would soon be refusing the Son shouting, “Crucify Him!” Jesus knew their refusals would not be tolerated. Eventually, God curbs evil and punishes the wicked. Even so, knowing all this would play out, Jesus wept, but He did not turn back. He continued to His Cross to die for all, even the evil and ungrateful people for whom He would pray, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
God does not delight in the death of anyone. That is why He sent prophets to warn, to give people a chance to repent. God still sends messengers to warn His people, to preach and teach, and to draw us to Himself. God warns against the evil that comes about whenever we get caught up in sin. He wants to spare us from the awful fallout. He doesn’t want us to suffer. Some heed His warnings, many do not.
Jesus wept but still headed to His Cross. He knows we are sinners. But His love and compassion outweigh His anger and frustration. Even when we have to suffer the consequences for some sin we have committed, God does not forsake us. He is still on our side, filled with love for us and wanting us to be blessed. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure, unbounded love Thou art; Visit us with Thy salvation, Enter ev’ry trembling heart. ( “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” LSB 700, st.1b)
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch