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Jesus wept over Jerusalem

March 11, 2018

Jesus Wept  I begin this post with a prayer that what I have written is theologically sound. If I have erred in any way I will gladly accept criticism, comments, and guidance in my never-ending search for Biblical Truth.

  There are two instances in the Bible where we learn Jesus wept: the first was when He learned the news that His friend  Lazarus died and the second instance was during His Triumphal return to Jerusalem. I do not know how you feel about these passages but to me these are very powerful passages in the Bible which might be mostly overlooked but are very important.

  I find these passages to be interesting and related and, as I wrote, very powerful because both of them represent triumph over death as well as Jesus’ fully human side, and in a way Lazarus was a preview of what was to come. In both cases Jesus knew the ultimate outcome but because He was fully human He also understood grief and He was overcome with emotion. 

  So we must look at the story of Lazarus first. I will narrate the Book of John 11:17-35: At this point Jesus had already learned Lazarus was near death and He agreed to visit him, but He delayed His journey to see His friend. While Jesus delayed Lazarus died and when Martha, grief stricken at the loss of her brother, learned that Jesus was in town she ran to Him and told Jesus that if He had been there Lazarus would not have died. Jesus responds by telling Martha Lazarus will rise again. Martha says she knows he will rise again on the last day but Jesus tells her “I am the resurrection and the life.” We know how this story ends, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and the setup for His own resurrection was put in motion.

  Jesus Knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead so why did He weep? There are two possibilities in my mind: Martha seemed to be questioning Jesus; was He weeping because she still did not understand (Martha was the sister who seemed to question Jesus in Luke 10:38-42 while her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to His teachings) or was He weeping because of her pain at the loss of a loved one? Maybe it was both, I think it probably was…

  Jesus was both fully human and fully divine, this is a hard concept to understand, but  as fully human He had to feel emotion while at the same time carrying out the will of the Father as fully divine. Part of me wonders if Jesus wept because He felt responsible, on a human level, for putting them through this pain when if He did not delay He could have, as Martha alluded to, saved them this sorrow. But as we learn in Matthew 8:5-13  Jesus could have saved Lazarus without being there and He did not, but His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8) and He had a lesson to teach, even if it meant temporary earthy pain for a few people. This lesson, I believe, was a preview of what was to come on Calvary.

  We now turn to Jerusalem: Jesus was entering as a king and, as prophesied, on a donkey. The adoring crowd worshiped Him as the Messiah and threw down palm leaves at His feet and at this very time when all seemed well the Bible tells us in Luke 19:41 Jesus wept over Jerusalem.  Why would Jesus, at His greatest moment, His Triumphal return, weep as He entered the city? It should have been a joyous occasion.

  Luke 19:42 tells us why: ““If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (NIV)

  In Luke 19:43-44 Jesus prophesied about the fall of Jerusalem which would come to pass about forty years later, but He laid the blame for this based on Luke 19:42 so we shall focus on this for the sake of this post.

  Luke 19:42 shows us the peace these people were soon to feel was not the same peace we feel today knowing Jesus took on our sin on the cross because they did not understand.  But Jesus did! Jesus knew the people would choose to save Barabbas, a murderer, over the One who could save us all.

  Jesus knew His death would bring the people peace but because they thought He would be an earthy Messiah they did not understand His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36) and they condemned Him to death not understanding the prophesies. (In a way this brings me back to my question about Martha.) 

  Jesus was not weeping over His own death, which He knew was coming and He knew He would conquer death, but rather for the people who would soon condemn Him to death. The people thought they were condemning Jesus but they were condemning themselves and Jesus grieved for them because He understood this even though they did not.  This is one reason why Jesus wept over Jerusalem.

  And this leads me to Jesus’ first words on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” It makes me wonder if Jesus in addition to asking for forgiveness for those who where crucifying Him with these words was also thinking about the people of Jerusalem and those who would, in a remarkably short period of time, turn against Him by following their earthly leaders who were only interested in protecting their positions and their power.

  “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 KJV)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2018 1:38 am

    Revelation 21:4
    And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • March 12, 2018 5:24 am

      I love it! Thanks for sharing this verse.

      Liked by 1 person

    • March 12, 2018 12:00 pm

      Hey Swiss!
      Agree w/ Steve ‘good verse’ for our edification!
      New Heavens, New earth is exciting to me because the ‘stain and tainting’ of sin will be ‘no more’ or even remembered. The vileness and evil GONE!
      All the human pride “legacies” ~ nothing remains! The proud and puffed up haughty will be forgotten!! No sickos! No sickos thoughts coming to our minds or soiling our pure hearts!
      Both hearts and minds filled with godliness and His Love, never-ending!! 🙏💟
      Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
      And this:
      Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
      Hope you’re well brother! 😊 see u up yonder one fine day!

      Liked by 2 people

      • March 12, 2018 6:53 pm

        Well said and how wonderful it will be! No more pain and suffering and no more selfish human interests!

        Liked by 1 person

      • March 14, 2018 11:01 am

        Yes Zip. In The Whole Can’t I’ll be The One With The Dead Kennedys T-Shirt, I Didn’t think So…I Will Leave To Who It Belong, Back To The Dead Kennedys. Some are So Tied With Their Belonging..That They May Be Nice, But Miss The Door By That Much!

        And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
        Matthew 19:24

        Blessings Zip!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. March 12, 2018 12:29 pm

    A display of God’s heart and thoughts of Pure Charity for mankind!
    In the capacity of the ‘human mind thinking’, or relating as much as an earthly being is able, the desire to join in His heart and thoughts, a worthy endeavor. 😊
    As you noted in your previous writing, Jesus’ thoughts were not about ‘himself’ but others: His Father, whose Will he was fulfilling, which involved taking the ‘sin of the world’ upon himself resulting in ‘being separated from His Father and Spirit’ because of that sin.
    Putting on vileness and haughtiness over purity, the burden of ‘shame’.
    When we come into this world we ‘cry’ as we breath in a ‘life of this world’, later on we find out why.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 12, 2018 7:00 pm

      That was an interesting article, thanks for sharing it. I like when it said God became involved in man’s sin when He sent Jesus into the world to take on our sin. He did not sin but he involved Himself in sin to show us the way to salvation.
      You mentioned Jesus being separated from the Father when He came to earth to take on our sin and I find that an interesting point I had not put much thought into. I will be now though!

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 12, 2018 7:51 pm

        Yep, only by His Spirit can we ‘walk in the way’ in the Spirit of Truth!
        Not only did Jesus show us ‘how’ to live but gives us His LIFE to Live that WAY by “quickening us” (regenerating our dead spirit by His Life giving Spirit)!
        Without His Spirit residing in us (= born again) we can’t “walk the walk or talk the talk” in the power of the flesh.
        The sinful flesh ‘always’ want to rule over the spirit and be the ruling ‘god’! not playing 2nd fiddle! or performing the role of a servant!


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