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Do You Weep?

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Luke 19:37–44 ESV
As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
This morning we enter Holy Week with the familiar passage of Jesus coming into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, a symbol of humility, and yet among such great pageantry as they roll out their time’s version of a red carpet, throwing down palm branches and their cloaks for Jesus to ride over. The disciples are cheering and praising God for all the mighty works they had seen.
They’re shouting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Luke 19:38 ESV
saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Did you catch that? “Blessed is the King...” they fully expected Jesus to become King over his people on earth. You can imagine their excitement.
But...
Not everyone was cheering. The Pharisees in the crowd don’t seem to be happy. Some of them said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”
If you picture the scene you can hear their indignation.
They’re treating you like King.
You’re not the King. You’re not the messiah!
IF you were, you’d keep the rules like we do. Rebuke your disciples!
And once again, Jesus changes the perspective.
“I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” He’s letting them know that he’s not just an earthly King, he is King over all of creation!
And then, in Luke we see something that we wouldn’t imagine from a King entering a city victoriously.
Luke 19:41 ESV
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
Jesus wept. The only other time I remember Jesus weeping is over the death of Lazarus.
John 11:35 ESV
Jesus wept.
But here...
Luke 19:41 ESV
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
Jesus is weeping over the city! Why?
Look at verses 42-44:
Luke 19:42–44 ESV
saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
This is why he wept.
Luke 19:41 ESV
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
The people did not know the things that made peace, and now they’re hidden from their eyes.
The people did not realize the enemy is real.
The people did not realize the time of their visitation.
They didn’t know when the Messiah was coming!
Neither do we.
A STORY IS TOLD…
There’s a story told of an apprentice demon, soon to be sent to earth on his first mission, who is preparing for a last-minute strategy session with his master. The young demon is a fast learner. He has realized that the unbelieving world is already in his master’s power and that it would be a poor sue of his time and resources to focus his schemes on the lost. Rather, his strategy is to focus on neutralizing the Christians in their evangelistic work. “They could do the most harm” he reasons, “so I must keep them from the destructive work, modeled so well by Paul 2,000 years ago, of ‘opening the eyes of the unbelieving that they might turn to God from Satan’ (Acts 26:18). He shudders at the thought of Paul’s success.
The demon then shares his strategy with his master. “I’ll try and convince Christians that there is no such thing as sin,” he says. “Then they will stop sharing the good news. The answer will soon become irrelevant if I eliminate the question.”
“This is only a part of my plan,” says Satan, “but it cannot be the focus, for most of our enemies realize the reality of sin. Even those in our power sometimes, in rare moments of clear thinking, realize sins’s destructiveness. You’ll confuse some of the enemy, but not all of them on this.”
“Well then, Ill convince the church that there is no hell, that even if there is sin, there are no eternal consequences.”
“Good thinking,” replies Satan. “You will confuse some with this, but still the prospect of judgment is so ingrained in men, even those in our power, that this will not neutralize the enemy. Most will see through the deception.”
The young demon thinks for a moment, and then a look of triumph floods his face. “I’ve got it! I’ll convince them that there is no hurry. They can have their doctrines of sin, heaven, and hell. I’ll just help them rationalize away their lack of conviction on these matters by whispering in their ears, “There is no hurry; don’t inconvenience yourself. Save it for later.’ They are all so prone to be concerned with their own cares and problems anyway, that they will buy right into it.”
“You have done well,” says Satan. “You will see great success in neutralizing the enemy with this strategy.” (C.S. Lewis)
[As summarized by John C. Maxwell in One Hour With God, ©1994 (Injoy publishing). In the chapter on “Sharing Your Faith”.]
Jesus, our Messiah approaches the city of Jerusalem - the capital city - an urban center - a microcosm of the intersection of several faiths and what is his reaction? He weeps. He recognized their lostness and that they’re out of time. The words of John ring loudly in this passage:
John 1:10–11 ESV
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
Jesus wept.
Jesus understood this is their last chance and there is no sense of urgency, there is no sense that the way they are living their lives makes any difference because…well, the judgment may be coming, but in their eyes, it’s not there yet.
Jesus tells us he will come like a thief in the night. Remember Matthew 24:44?
Matthew 24:44 ESV
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
It is important for you and I as followers of Christ that our head knowledge of Jesus and God connect to our lives.
As D.L. Bock wrote:
“His character is not revealed in a set of philosophical propositions. It comes through what he is doing in people’s lives.”
Bock, D. L. (1996). Luke (p. 498). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
Like the disciples here in our passage who proclaim Jesus King based upon the miracles they have seen, so we proclaim Jesus when we share how Jesus works in our lives.
There are two very clear applications in our verses today:
God has given us evidence of God’s control.
We say God is in control and we profess to believe in that, but our faith needs to move from our heads to our actual lives. It’s not merely a philosophical premise that we hope is true. If we believe it to be the truth we should behave as such.
2. It is important to make a decision about Jesus.
Again from D.L. Bock:
The NIV Application Commentary: Luke Contemporary Significance

We should contemplate the consequences of rejecting God’s offer of grace in Jesus. God desires our allegiance. When we refuse to give it, we become responsible for that choice. A time will come when we will have to own up to our decision. Making the right decision determines the character of that meeting.

Bock, D.L. (1996). Luke (p. 498)
There is a crisis going on around each one of us. People of Milton, Edgewood, Federal Way, Fife, Tacoma, Sumner, Puyallup, Auburn are literally going in a direction that leads to death. What are each one of us doing about it? Don’t leave it up to your neighbor, pastor, elder, deacon. What are you doing about it
A prominent businessman was in Sydney, Australia on business. Having some time to spare he was walking in one of the open markets there when he was approached by a man who asked, “Excuse me, may I ask you a question?”
“Sure”, the man answered.
“When you die are you going to heaven or hell? The Bible says that Jesus said, ‘No one goes to the father except through me.’ Thank you! God Bless you! and Toodloo!”
The business man just waved as the man happily went on his way. Throughout the rest of the trip he couldn’t get that question out of his head. He began reading the Gideon’s bible in the hotel room. Upon arriving home he sought out a minister to answer his questions and gave his life over to Christ. He became active in the church and a Christian businessman’s group. As he grew in his faith he would share his story about how he came to know Christ. He developed into somewhat of an evangelist and was invited to speak at various churches and Christian businessman groups. He would share his testimony, “I was walking down the street in Sydney, and this man came up to me and asked, ‘Excuse me, may I ask you a question? When you die are going to heaven or hell? The Bible says that Jesus said, ‘No one goes to the father except through me.’ Thank you! God Bless you! and Toodloo!’”
As he traveled he would run into person after person who would have the same testimony. They’d say, “Me too! I was walking down the street in Sydney, and this man came up to me and asked, “Excuse me, may I ask you a question? When you die are going to heaven or hell? The Bible says that Jesus said, ‘No one goes to the father except through me.’ Thank you! God Bless you! and Toodloo!”
After meeting hundreds of people in his speaking engagements who had converted because of this one man’s question he determined that if he was in Sydney again, he would find this man and share with him the incredible fruit fo his labor.
Finally, it happened, he was in Sydney again. He went back to the market square and walked the market for hours hoping to run into the man. But he couldn’t find him. He finally began asking around and one man said, “Oh, you mean crazy Charlie,” and directed him to where Charlie lived. Finding the stairway that led to Charlie’s apartment the man climbed the steps and knocked on the door. Not hearing anything he knocked again. Then, from the other side of the door he heard a faint voice, “come in.”
Opening the door to the small studio apartment, there was Charlie lying on the bed in the corner. He was much older now, what hair was left had grayed, and he was a thin frail man compared to the happy evangelist the man had met decades before. The man introduced himself, “You won’t remember me, but I had to come and tell you the impact you had on my life. Many years ago I was in the market and you came to me and said, ‘Excuse me, may I ask you a question? When you die are going to heaven or hell? The Bible says that Jesus said, ‘No one goes to the father except through me.’ Thank you! God Bless you! and Toodloo!’” Charlie just listened from the bed, his sunken eyes looking intently at the man. The man continued, “I couldn’t get your question out of my mind, and so I searched for the truth and commited my life to Jesus. I’ve had the opportunity to share my faith around the world and everywhere I go I run into others who share the same story of your question and your blessing.”
Charlie began to cry uncontrollably. The man didn’t know what to do. He began apologizing for upsetting Charlie, but Charlie shook his head. Gasping for air amid the sobs, Charlie beckoned the man closer. “I did that for 30 years in that market. And this is the first I’ve heard of it making any difference.”
Folks we are not called to give our best imitation of Billy Graham, or Mother Theresa. We are called to follow Jesus and he calls us to love those around us - share why Jesus is important in your life, invite them to learn more about Jesus. Share what works for you. Invite them to join you in church.
I began with a question:

Do you weep?

Jesus came to Jerusalem, he is ushered in as a King. You and I know he would be crucified for their sin at the end of the week and ultimately rise again conquering both sin and death. But they didn’t know that…yet. In answer to the question, “Do you Weep? I hope all of our answer is "Yes, I do weep! Out of compassion for my neighbor I want them to know Jesus.” I hope you’re not forgetting to share how Jesus is working in your life.
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