Bible Commentary: “Jesus Wept Over Jerusalem” The Days Of Lent

March 7, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Bible Commentary | Leave a comment
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“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.” (Luke 19:41 NIV)

Jerusalem has been called many things, Salem, Ariel, Jebus, the “city of God,” the “holy city;” and “the city of Judah”. Jerusalem means “possession of peace,” or “foundation of peace.” Jerusalem is built upon two mountains, Zion and Moriah. It is first mentioned in Scripture under the name Salem (Genesis 14:18). When first mentioned under the name Jerusalem, Adonizedek was its king. It is afterwards named among the cities of Benjamin but in the time of David it was divided  between Benjamin and Judah. After the death of Joshua the city was taken and set on fire by the men of Judah; but the Jebusites were not wholly driven out of it. The city is not again mentioned till we are told that David brought the head of Goliath there. David afterwards led his forces against the Jebusites still residing within its walls, and drove them out, fixing his own dwelling on Zion, which he called “the city of David”. Here he built an altar to the Lord on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite, and thither he brought up the Ark of the Covenant and placed it in the new tabernacle that he had prepared for it. Jerusalem now became the capital of the kingdom.

After the death of David, Solomon built the temple, a house for the name of the Lord, on Mount Moriah. He also greatly strengthened and adorned the city, and it became the great center of all the civil and religious affairs of the nation.  After the disruption of the kingdom on the accession to the throne of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom of the two tribes. It was subsequently often taken and retaken by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and by the kings of Israel, till finally, for the abounding iniquities of the nation, after a siege of three years, it was taken and utterly destroyed, its walls razed to the ground, and its temple and palaces consumed by fire, by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. The desolation of the city and the land was completed by the retreat of the principal Jews into Egypt, and by the final carrying captive into Babylon of all that still remained in the land, so that it was left without an inhabitant.

But the streets and walls of Jerusalem were again to be built, in troublous times after a captivity of seventy years. This restoration was begun B.C. 536, “in the first year of Cyrus”. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah contain the history of the re-building of the city and temple, and the restoration of the kingdom of the Jews, consisting of a portion of all the tribes. The kingdom thus constituted was for two centuries under the dominion of Persia, till B.C. 331; and thereafter, for about a century and a half, under the rulers of the Greek empire in Asia, till B.C. 167. For a century the Jews maintained their independence under native rulers, the Asmonean princes. At the close of this period they fell under the rule of Herod and of members of his family, but practically under Rome, till the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70. The city was then laid in ruins.

For a city that means “Peace” it has seen more than its share of war and devastation. Yet it is this city that God has a particular affection for. Before Jesus makes His triumphant procession into Jerusalem He stands on the mountain above it and weeps: “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 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. 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.  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” (Luke 19:41-44 NIV). “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Luke 13:34 NIV)!

Child of God – The heart of Jesus is not for the city but for the people of the city. He wants “to gather the children” but He couldn’t because of their unwillingness. Peace only comes to a population when The Prince of Peace is evident among the people. We must pray for the salvation of our neighbors in our cities, provinces and states. When Jesus is Lord then peace will come to our countries. We must remember, though, that there is one city that is dear to the heart of Jesus and we must pray for its salvation and its peace, God tells us to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels” (Psalm 122:6-7 NIV)

Our prayer:
Lord, just as the people of Jerusalem how many times I have lost my peace because I didn’t recognize your presence in my life. Because I wasn’t allowing you to embrace me and take control of the situation.  Forgive me for those times when I’ve tried to take the control on my hands, out of my pride or my fears. I surrender Lord. I give you the control of everything that is happening in my life and will ever happen.  I acknowledge your wisdom, your lordship, your loving kindness, your foreknowledge of everything, and your sovereignty and authority over my life to do as you please because I trust you with all my heart. But please Lord, if you see in my that I’m not trusting you as I believe I am or if I become doubtful and weak at a certain moment, strengthen me and sustain me so I can overcome and be steady on my faith, because I put my will in trusting you. Amen.

If you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior pray: “Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that out of love for me you willingly sacrificed your life so that I may live. I repent of all my sins and open my heart to you as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer for the first time or if you have any questions please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

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