Luke 19:41-44 (ESV)

41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 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. 43 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 44 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.”

Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, and when he saw the city he wept. He knew what was going to happen, and he knew that the people of this great city had already rejected him. The word used for “wept” is the Greek word klaio, which isn’t a sniffling but an intense sobbing. Jesus was absolutely heart-broken over the fact that God’s people missed this great hour of salvation. Then Jesus prophesied over the city. He stated that because they rejected their Messiah, their opportunity for redemption had passed. They could have experienced God’s peace, but instead they would experience darkness and destruction. Those who reject the kindness and mercy of God fail to realize the great weight of their decision. As a result, the enemies of Israel would take the city. Historians record that in 70 ad, shortly after Jesus’ prophecy, the nation of Rome attacked Jerusalem and the temple and brought the city and house of God to ruins. Jerusalem has never been the same since. Jesus said earlier that even the stones would cry out “Hosanna” if necessary to acknowledge his entry into the city as King. Now Jesus said those same stones would be a witness of the nation’s judgment.

Have you ever wept bitterly over the foolish or sinful decisions of someone you love? Have you longed to help her to “get it” regarding the consequences of her wrongful actions, but she refused to listen to you? The pain you experienced at that time was a taste of what Jesus felt as he broke down in sorrow over the blindness of Israel. Although God is all-powerful and able to do whatever he pleases, he doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked. If someone in your life is currently making poor choices, call out to Jesus. He is not happy with her sin either. In some mysterious way, God has ordained things so that he responds to the prayers of his people. He can do whatever he wants, and yet he wants us to ask that his will be done on earth and in the lives of those he has placed around us. Take a minute to pray for the unbelievers in your life today. Even break down with sorrow. Be encouraged! As your pour your soul out to the Lord on behalf of others, you are following in the footsteps of Jesus.