Prepare to Listen. As you slow down, still your heart and mind with this prayer: See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.
Prayerfully Read Luke 19:41-47a
41As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.’
45Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; 46and he said, ‘It is written,
“My house shall be a house of prayer”;
but you have made it a den of robbers.’
47Every day he was teaching in the temple.
For the second time in Luke, Jesus laments over Jerusalem (see 13:45-35), this time “he wept over it.” This second lament is linked to the previous story (19:28ff) about the ride into Jerusalem, with word peace, as the crowd shouted, “Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Through his tears, Jesus warned them that they had no idea concerning “the things that make for peace.” He'd repeatedly warned the nation that disaster would come unless they chose his way of peace and non-violence. But, as Jesus lamented, his way of peace was hidden from them because they kept choosing violence. When Luke wrote Jesus' lament, the violence was history. Rome, in 70 c.e., had surrounded and hemmed Israel in, crushed the nation to the ground, leaving no stone upon another. The destruction was as Jesus said it would be, and because “you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”
I wonder what lament Jesus would make over us today. So many who claim to be followers of Jesus choose violence over peace. They see Jesus as a militant warrior fighting a holy war and calling us to join him. But that’s not the image that Luke gives of Jesus, who consistently urged people to follow his way of peace. He wept over them because he knew they’d reject it, opt for violence and be destroyed.
What caught your attention in this passage?
Respond to Jesus
Lord, help me see with your eyes so that I weep over the things you weep over and choose the way of peace. Amen.
Live obediently. Weep over what Jesus weeps over.
I began reading my Bible when I was 8 years old. I loved it then (albeit didn't understand much) and I still love reading and studying it. I may understand a little more but I keep learning new stuff, seeing things I missed for years. This journey with Luke during Lent has been another new learning experience for me, deepening my relationship with Jesus. I pray it will do the same for you.