"And when he had come near, he beheld the city and wept over it, saying, 'If you, even you, had only known in this day the things which belong to your peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, that your enemies shall build a barricade about you, encompass you, keep you in on every side, and shall lay you and your children within you even with the ground. And they shall not leave in you one stone upon another because you did not know the time of your visitation.'" Luke 19:41-44
Luke's gospel tells us that Jesus, when He drew near to the city of Jerusalem, wept over it because its people did not recognize Him as their Messiah and Savior -- they did not know and recognize the things which make for peace between God and man; they were hidden from their eyes. Jesus loved them and shed His blood in death upon a cross to redeem them, but they didn't know and didn't see and didn't repent and turn to Him in faith!
As a result of their unbelief, God's judgment would come upon them. The words of Jesus were fulfilled when the Roman armies besieged and destroyed the city and the temple in 70 A.D. The people were killed and taken away captive.
In Luke 21:20-24, Jesus had said, "And when you see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of it depart from it, and do not let those who are in the countries enter into it. For these are the days of vengeance so that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse infants in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."
But does Jesus also weep over you? Does He weep because He willingly went to the cross and paid in full for all your sins and yet you do not recognize Him and His sacrifice and you continue on in impenitence and unbelief?
The Bible says of Jesus in Matthew 9:36: "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them because they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd."
And people today are no different than people of Jesus' day. They wander to and fro like sheep without a shepherd. They do not recognize their own utter sinfulness, nor do they recognize Jesus as God's Son in human flesh and their Savior from sin and eternal death.
We see it in family members and friends, coworkers and acquaintances. They are lost and headed for the fires of hell and don't even know it. They may know of Jesus, but they do not know Him and trust in Him for pardon and peace, forgiveness and life everlasting!
Yes, Jesus weeps, and we weep with Him in sorrow as we see people living their lives in ignorance of Jesus and what He in love has done for them -- in ignorance of the judgment which is soon coming upon them.
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 53:6: "We have all like sheep gone astray. We have each turned to his own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
We've all sinned and gone astray! We were all headed toward eternal condemnation! But God the Father sent His Son, Christ Jesus, and charged Him with our sin. Christ died in our stead. He bore the punishment for your sins and mine and rose again from the dead on the third day that we might repent and look to Him in faith and receive God's pardon and forgiveness!
There is sorrow when we do not repent and look to Jesus, but there is joy when we, by the grace of God, trust in Jesus and are saved!
[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture is quoted from the Revised Common Version. To freely read more of Moll's devotions, visit https://goodshepherdrogers.org.]