Learning the Lesson of Jerusalem
Chris' Corner – Sunday, April 3, 2022
Jesus was riding on a colt approaching the city of Jerusalem, when “The whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: “'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!' Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:37-38).
The Pharisees, who had already decided Jesus should die, put their attitude and disdain on display by demanding Jesus rebuke the crowd for shouting their praises. The Lord said if the people did not cry out, the stones would immediately cry out instead. Only the Creator of heaven and earth could receive such praise (John 1:1, 3; Colossians 1:16).
As the great city of Jerusalem came into view, over the Mount of Olives, Jesus began to weep. He spoke to the city as if it were a person. “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42). The Lord was speaking of her destruction. Enemies were coming to level Jerusalem. Of the great temple, Jesus said, not one stone would be left on top of another.
If the people of Jerusalem had recognized Jesus as the true Messiah and accepted His teaching about His spiritual kingdom, the city would not have suffered the horrible destruction at the hands of the Romans in AD 70. The Jews decided what they wanted in a king, and it wasn't Christ. They also rejected His kingdom. Instead of embracing the teachings of God’s prophets, the Jews killed them. When His Son finally arrived, they killed Him too. Jesus foretold this very vividly in His parable in Luke 20:9-19.
Throughout their history, the Jews were never able to overcome the temptation of comparing God's kingdom with the attractiveness of those nations around them. When the Messiah came to establish His spiritual kingdom, they were calloused and blind and could not see what God's prophets foretold. The Lord was finished with their disobedience and took away the Jews' physical kingdom. History reveals the terrible day of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Today, we often see religious people who claim to love Jesus and His kingdom yet turn from what they read in scripture about those very things. Their perception has turned inward to their own religious desires. They reject what God wants for the things they want. Some Christians and congregations have developed a desire to compete with the denominational world. They get excited by the physical growth they see with their religious neighbors and adopt their unscriptural practices for numbers and popularity.
Have we not learned the lesson of Jerusalem? Do we serve God or ourselves? We cannot see the truth when we turn our focus inward and away from God. We will convince ourselves that what we do is both endorsed and accepted by God. After all, aren't we doing it for His honor and glory? Since when are the ways of men better than those God specifically commands and expects? Our ways may seem right, "But its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 16:25).