Luke 19: 28 – 44 Jesus comes to Jerusalem as king

Luke 19: 28 – 44 Jesus comes to Jerusalem as king

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” say, “The Lord needs it.” ’

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’

They replied, ‘The Lord needs it.’

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’

‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’

‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’

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 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 recognise the time of God’s coming to you.’

*       *       *

There is a sternness about the way the gospel portrays Jesus in this passage. The procurement of the colt for him to ride is told plainly. He shows no triumph despite people spreading their cloaks on the road. The crowd becomes excited.

The whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’

‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’

The Pharisees tell Jesus to stop his followers from shouting such inflammatory slogans. Their motives may have been mixed. They may have objected to the implicit claim that Jesus was the Messiah. They may have feared the Roman response to any street gathering that spoke of a Jewish king.

Jesus, though, knows the significance of the occasion. He knows why he is entering Jerusalem. He knows what is going to happen to him. He knows who he is, and what his role is in God’s plan. The crowd have it right. He is the Messiah. This is so important that if the crowd weren’t acclaiming him, God would cause the stones to cry out the message that Jesus is Lord.

‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’

He doesn’t mention kingship. There is no exhilaration, no pride, not even obvious satisfaction.

And then what?

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.

He wept over Jerusalem, because the inhabitants of the city had failed to accept his message. He had taught in their streets, healed their sick, brought new life – and they had rejected him. He could see prophetically that in the near future Rome would besiege the city, and overwhelm it with dreadful cruelty. There was no way to avoid it. The choices made by the rulers, and their administrators, and the average citizens, choices that betrayed Jesus, made it inevitable. And Jesus wept over it.

This brings echoes of yesterday’s study, when we considered how people could suffer as a result of God’s plan. You might like to re-read that passage in the light of Jesus’ response to the plight of Jerusalem. God’s plan

When any human suffers, God hurts.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem.

Prayer

Heavenly Father

Thank you for caring so much for every single human being. Help us to have the faith to realise your love and care.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Published by pennygadd51

I write. I've written many pieces of flash fiction, dozens of short stories and two novels, with a third in progress.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: