Recognizing the Time of Your Visitation
Luke 19:41-48 (NIV)
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” 45 Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
Upon seeing the city of Jerusalem in the distance, the Son of God began to weep. But why weep? Jesus was, after all, coming into His city. This was the city of King David, the place where he reigned for 33 years and received a promise of an everlasting kingdom. This was the home of the Temple, the house of worship, honor, and prayer for the God of the Universe. Yes, Jerusalem, whose very name means “Foundation of Peace,” had seen much throughout its history. The city had seen its walls breached by the Babylonians; the city had seen its Temple be desecrated by the worship of foreign gods; and the city had seen the miraculous provision of the Lord as He allowed the city to be rebuilt and the Temple to be rededicated. In spite of all that the city had seen, though, she failed to recognize the most important One of all, the Prince of Peace Himself. Because of her spiritual blindness, once again the city would be plundered; once again her temple would be destroyed; and once again the Lord would offer restoration – if only she would see and believe.
This same Jesus who entered Jerusalem on a colt is now living and reigning as the Son of David. He is King, Lord, Redeemer, Judge, Friend, and Advocate. So just as the disciples put aside their coats on the road to pave the way for the Messiah, let us put aside our self-centered pride, our vain ambition, our earthly desires, and our misplaced treasures. Let us see Him rightly and come to worship.
And if we find it hard to worship on this Thursday, if we find it hard to focus our hearts upon God, if we find it hard to believe that He is working all things for His glory and our good, then let us remember the lesson of the Temple. When Jesus drove out the moneychangers, he reminded the people that his Father’s house was a place of prayer. Like Jesus, let us be about our Father’s business. Therefore, let us go to God, both with boldness and with humility. Let us pray that through the power of his Spirit, we may be made holy. Let us pray that we may live to serve rather than to be served. Let us pray that we may be conformed to the image of the Son so that the world might not just hear the gospel, but see the gospel of Christ’s love and truth embodied in us.