A SERMON

Text: Luke 19:41-48 (Deuteronomy 4:23-31; 1 Corinthians 12:2-11)

Outline

·         Jesus’ deep sorrow for Jerusalem’s future and his prophetic words about Jerusalem’s destruction. (Luke 19:41 – 44)

·         Jesus’ Desire for Repentance and Salvation: cleansing of the temple, and call for true worship and repentance (Luke 19:45-46)

·         Jesus’ Teaching and Authority Challenged: The religious leaders’ opposition to Jesus, and Jesus’ authority questioned and defended (Luke 19:47-48)

Exposition and Lesson

First and foremost, these lines teach us the extent of Christ’s love and mercy for sinners. As He approached Jerusalem for the final time, according to the scriptures, “He beheld the city and wept over it.” He was well acquainted with Jerusalem’s populace. He was not blind to their brutality, their pride of heart, their self-righteousness, their stubbornness, or their steadfast prejudice against the truth. He had a clear picture of everything they intended to do to Him in the coming days, including His wrongful condemnation, His transfer to the Gentiles, His sufferings, and His crucifixion. And yet our Lord felt sorry for Jerusalem despite all of this! “He beheld the city and wept over it.”

These words teach us, secondly, that religious ignorance exists and that it is wicked and reproachable. It says in the scripture that Jerusalem was condemned by our Lord “because she knew not the time of her visitation.” She may have realized that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah and that the days of the Messiah had fully arrived. However, she wouldn’t be aware. Her leaders purposefully lacked knowledge. They would not study the evidence carefully and assess the important, obvious facts with objectivity. Her people refused to see “the signs of the times.” As a result, Jerusalem was about to face ultimate judgment, since she was forewarned in our first reading of Deuteronomy 4:23–31, her deliberate ignorance left her without defense.

This is where our Lord established a very significant premise. It runs counter to a widely held belief in society. It makes it clear that ignorance in general is not excused and that those who are aware of the truth but choose not to acknowledge it bear a heavy price in God’s eyes. Everyone is accountable for a certain level of knowledge, and if we fail to acquire it due to bias or laziness, ignorance will destroy our souls.

Thirdly, these words teach us that God occasionally feels pleased to extend invitations and uncommon possibilities to men. As our Lord tells us, Jerusalem “knew not the day of her visitation.” Jerusalem enjoyed a unique time of favor and kindness. God the Son visited her. Around her, the greatest miracles that humanity had ever witnessed were being performed. Within her halls was preached the most glorious sermon one has ever heard. The strongest exhortations to faith and repentance that any city has ever heard were issued during the times of our Lord’s ministry. These were cries so distinct and unusual, unlike any that Jerusalem had ever received before, that it seemed unthinkable that they could be ignored. However, they were ignored! And our Lord says that one of the main sins of Jerusalem was this disdain.

Finally, these lines demonstrate how strongly Christ feels about the profanation of sacred things. It is written that He drove the vendors and purchasers from the temple, accusing them of turning God’s home into “a den of thieves.” He was aware of the temple ministers’ formality and ignorance. He was aware of the impending destruction of the temple and its offerings, the veil’s rental, and the priesthood’s termination. However, He wants us to understand that any location where God is worshiped deserves respect. He maintained that the temple should be revered not as the place of sacrifice but rather as “the house of prayer.”

Every time we visit a public place of worship, let us keep in mind the behavior and words of our Lord. Of course, Christian churches are not like Jewish temples. They don’t have sacrifices, altars, priesthoods, or symbolic furnishings. However, these are locations where people study the Bible, encounter Christ, and have their hearts healed by the Holy Spirit. Every time we enter these facts, we should feel serious, respectful, somber, and decorous. There is still much to learn from the man who acts with the same recklessness in a cathedral as he would in a private residence or an inn. Not for him is the “mind of Christ.”

Conclusion

If we do not care deeply for the souls of those who have not come to Christ, we know very little about authentic Christianity. Ignorance about others’ spiritual condition might probably spare us a lot of difficulty. It is undoubtedly the way of the world to not give a damn if our neighbors are going to paradise or damnation. David, however, stated, “Rivers of waters run down my eyes because men keep not your law.” A man of this attitude is not like David at all. Paul remarked, “I have great heaviness and continual sorrow of heart for my brethren.” He is not at all like Paul. (Read Rom. 9:2; Psalm 119:136). Most of all, he is not like Christ at all. If Christ was compassionate toward sinners, then Christ’s followers should also feel likewise.

By

Martin H. Kamaidan