From my reading in Luke 19:28-48 in the One Year New Testament.
Have you ever been so burdened for the lost in your city that you actually cried?
I know some of us express emotions in different ways, so if your not a crier then have you ever felt a strong enough burden in your heart for your community that you could cry?
Have you ever been touched by how utterly lost, alone, ashamed, lonely, and weary those without Christ are?
Jesus felt this for a city that technically wasn’t even his hometown. The city of Jerusalem or the “Holy City” was not where he was born or raised but it is the most significant Biblical city and where he spent much of his ministry.
I had an opportunity to visit the Mt of Olives overlooking the modern city of Jerusalem (see picture I took above).
Over 2,000 years later I looked out and was moved as I remembered Christ’s compassion for the people of the great city and ultimately his love for us!
Ironically Jesus’ weeping comes in the midst of “Palm sunday” where everyone was celebrating him! But he knew that their words of praise were only temporary.
Soon people of the same city who shouted “hosanna” would later yell “crucify.”
Jesus offered them peace but they would choose violence, and this broke his heart.
“But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41–42
Jesus is the way to peace. The very city where God established peace through Christ’s ancestors became a city which killed the prince of peace. Jesus told the apostles something very comforting later in the gospel of John that I think applies to us,
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
Jesus offers us peace of mind and heart that the world can not explain. He offers an inner tranquility that passes human understanding. Unfortunately most people reject it.
Without Christ people are confused, stressed, upset and utterly lost.
As a campus minister I see my college campuses as my “cities.” The students I see walking around don’t know what they are missing! They run after fun, success, sex, and shallow acceptance when true peace and joy are offered by Jesus.
Ministry leaders and church members should share a similar passion for the lost.
Next time you hike a mountain, go up a tall building, or get in an airplane look over your city and ask God to break your heart for the lost.
This compassion will spur you do something to reach the people who desperately need Jesus. It will motivate you to make your church a place where the lost can be found and the spiritually blind’s eyes can be opened.
My prayer is that Jesus would give us a heart like his for the people in our communities so that many more will be welcomed into God’s family!
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