John T. Willis

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem and Cleanses the Temple--Luke 19:41-48

Having moved from Bethphage to Bethany and down the slope of the Mount of Olives (Luke 19:29, 37), Jesus now came near and saw the city of Jerusalem. He weeps over the city, and then enters into the Jerusalem temple and cleanses the temple. This section appears in Luke 19:41-48, and falls into two parts. I. Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. Luke 19:41-44. a. Luke very meticulously tells his audience that Jesus first came near and then saw the city of Jerusalem. 19:41a-b. b. Then, surrounded by the enthusiastic and shouting crowd accompanying him on the journey, Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Jesus was not concerned about his own fate at the crucifixion, but he was concerned about the terrible spiritual sinfulness of the people of God. See Luke 23:28. This calls to mind the weeping of Elisha over the death of Ben-hadad king of Aram= Syria in 2 Kings 8:11, and the weeping of Jeremiah over the sins of the people of Judah and Jerusalem in his day in Jeremiah 9:1; 14:17. Jesus longed for the people to realize the things that make for peace, but now they are hidden by God from their eyes because of their hardened hearts. "Peace" is the Hebrew word shalom, which is the second part of Jeru-salem. Genesis 14:18 and Psalm 76:2 call Jerusalem "Salem." 19:41b-42. c. Jesus then tells the people of Jerusalem that their enemies, the Romans, will set up ramparts around Jerusalem and surround the people and hem them in on every side. The Romans will crush them and their children to the ground, and will not leave one stone upon another at the temple and the city because they did not recognize the time of their visitation from God by rejected Jesus was God's Son. This description calls to mind Psalm 137:9 concerning the destruction of Babylon and Nahum 3:10 concerning the destruction of Nineveh. 19:43-44. II. Jesus Cleanses the Jerusalem Temple. Luke 19:45-48. a. Then Jesus entered the Jerusalem temple and drove out those who were selling things there. He supported this with two texts from the Hebrew Bible: Isaiah 56:7: "My house shall be a house of prayer," and Jeremiah 7:11: "you have made it a den of robbers." This account is related to Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:11, 15-19; and John 2:13-17, but the details are very different. The emphasis in Luke is that Jesus cleansed the temple to prepare the way for him to teach in the days ahead. 19:45-46. b. Luke tells his audience that "every day Jesus was teaching in the temple." In response, the chief priests, scribes, and leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill Jesus. Luke 20:1-2 will expand on their attempts. But they did not find anything they could do, because all the people of Jerusalem were spellbound by what they heard when Jesus taught in the temple. 19:47-48. Share YOUR ideas and insights and problems and reversals and aspirations with others. Let me hear from YOU. John Willis