“And when He was come near, He beheld the city and wept over it.”
Never has there been a heart as compassionate as His.
The City of David. The Holy City. The “City of Peace.”
As Jesus drew near the city that day on the back of a donkey’s colt, He wept. No doubt the tears streaming down caused the adoring throng to wonder what was going on. Although expecting Him to make His triumphal, Messianic entry on a prancing white stallion. . .clad in shining armor with a sharp, upraised sword gleaming in the sun. . .they saw Him weeping.
Why was He weeping?
Weren’t they excited over His long-awaited arrival, laying their garments down on the road before Him and crying, “Blessed be the King that comes in the Name of the Lord; peace in Heaven and glory in the highest” (v.38)?
Yet, there He was. . .on the back of a dumb donkey. . .weeping.
Although they would not understand until after His death, burial and resurrection—and, even then many would not believe—there was no way to understand why Jesus wept. And, sadly, even today the Savior’s tears over our waywardness and rebellion, mingled with the rain, still do not melt hearts of stone.
When Jesus wept that day near Lazarus’ tomb (Jn. 11:35), the nearby mourners whispered, “Behold, how He loved him!” (v.36); yet, even then some sarcastically muttered, “Could not this Man, Who opened the eyes of the blind have caused that even this man should not have died?” (v.37).
No wonder He “groaned in Himself” a second time (vv.38, 33).
He wept both times over their unbelief. And, He still does today.
He weeps over single mothers struggling to raise their children by themselves on minimum wage. He weeps over broken homes caused by divorce or desertion. He weeps over weeping widows and widowers, whose hearts are torn over the death of their beloved spouse.
And, He weeps over the hard-heartedness of His People, whose unbelief prevents Him from “doing many mighty works” (Mt. 13:58).
But, dear Pilgrim, it doesn’t have to be so. Even now we can turn His “sorrow into joy” (Jn. 16:20) by “delighting ourselves in Him” (Ps. 37:4) and desperately desiring to do the things He’s told us to do.
Yet, even then we must believe He’ll still weep from time-to-time as He views the condition of His Church and the world. Truly, He is the compassionate Savior, Whose heart is grieved by our sorrow and sin (Is. 53:3; Mt. 9:36; 14:14; Mk. 1:41). May we also weep with Him—knowing those who “go forth sowing in tears shall reap in joy” (Ps. 126:5).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 31, 2010