Luke 19:41 MEANING

Luke 19:41
(41) He beheld the city, and wept over it.--This, and the tears over the grave of Lazarus (John 11:35), are the only recorded instances of our Lord's tears. It is significant that in the one case they flow from the intensity of personal friendship, in the other from that of the intense love of country which we know as patriotism. Neither element of character could well be wanting in the perfect pattern of a holiness truly human.

Verse 41. - He beheld the city. It was a very different view to what the traveller of the present day would see from the same spot. Though Jerusalem, when Jesus Christ was teaching on earth, was subject to the stranger Herodian, and the Herodian to the great Italian power, yet the beauty and glory of the city were remarkable. Still glittered in the midst of the great city that "mass of gold and snow" known as the temple. The far-extending suburbs were covered with the gardens and palaces of the wealthy Jews. But the mighty memories which hung so thickly round the sacred city and the glorious house of God after all constituted its chief charm. What might not that city have been! what splendid and far-reaching work might it not have done l and now the cup of its iniquities was just brimming over; only a few more short years, and a silence the most awful would brood over the shapeless ruins of what was once Jerusalem and her house on Zion, the joy of the whole earth. And wept over it. No merely silent tears of mute sorrow, but ἔκλαυσεν, he wept aloud. All the insults and the sufferings of the Passion were powerless to elicit from the Man of sorrows that expression of intense grief which the thought of the ruin of the loved city called forth.

19:41-48 Who can behold the holy Jesus, looking forward to the miseries that awaited his murderers, weeping over the city where his precious blood was about to be shed, without seeing that the likeness of God in the believer, consists much in good-will and compassion? Surely those cannot be right who take up any doctrines of truth, so as to be hardened towards their fellow-sinners. But let every one remember, that though Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he executed awful vengeance upon it. Though he delights not in the death of a sinner, yet he will surely bring to pass his awful threatenings on those who neglect his salvation. The Son of God did not weep vain and causeless tears, nor for a light matter, nor for himself. He knows the value of souls, the weight of guilt, and how low it will press and sink mankind. May he then come and cleanse our hearts by his Spirit, from all that defiles. May sinners, on every side, become attentive to the words of truth and salvation.And when he was come near, he beheld city,.... Of Jerusalem; being now nearer, and in a situation to take a full view of it, he lift up his eyes, and looking wistfully on it, and beholding the grandeur and magnificence of it, the number of the houses, and the stately structures in it, and knowing what calamities, in a few years, would come upon it; with which being affected, as man, he looked upon it,

and wept over it; touched with a tender concern for it, his natural passions moved, and tears fell plentifully from his eyes. This must be understood of Christ merely as man, and is a proof of the truth of his human nature, which had all the natural properties, and even the infirmities of it; and as affected with the temporal ruin of Jerusalem, and as concerned for its temporal welfare; and is not to be improved either against his proper deity, or the doctrines of distinguishing grace, relating to the spiritual and eternal salvation of God's elect; things that are foreign from the sense of this passage: some ancient Christians, and orthodox too, thinking that this was not so agreeable to Christ, but reflected some weakness and dishonour upon him, expunged this clause concerning his weeping; but we have another instance besides this; see John 11:35 and even the Jews themselves cannot think this to be unsuitable to the Messiah, when they represent the Shekinah, and God himself weeping over the destruction of the temple (p); and it is particularly (q) said by them of the Messiah, that he shall weep over the wicked among the Jews, according to Isaiah 53:5 and they encourage persons to mourn over Jerusalem: they say (r) whoever does any business on the ninth of Ab, (the day that city was destroyed,) and does not mourn over Jerusalem, shall not see its joy; but whoever does mourn over it, shall see its joy, according to Isaiah 66:10 (s).

(p) Zohar in Gen. fol. 114. 4. & in Exod. fol. 76. 1. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 3. 2. Prafat Echa Rabbati, fol. 89. 4. (q) Zohar in Exod. fol. 85. 2.((r) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 30. 2.((s) T. Bab Bathra, fol. 60. 2. & Caphtor, fol. 118. 2.

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