Christ in the City

MEMORY VERSE: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” —Luke 13:34

LUKE 19:37-48

THE experiences related in this lesson occurred near the close of Jesus’ ministry, and in the city of Jerusalem. We do not know how many times Jesus visited Jerusalem during the course of his ministry. Matthew, Mark, and Luke report only this one occasion, but John indicates that he had been to Jerusalem several times. In any case, Jesus doubtless loved Jerusalem, for it stood for the entire Jewish polity, and as our memory verse clearly shows, he would have been happy if the people had responded in belief to his message of the kingdom.

The verse following our memory verse reports Jesus as continuing, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Literally, Jerusalem was made desolate by the Roman army some thirty-seven years later than this, but it would seem here that Jesus is referring particularly to the Jewish polity, and Israel’s hope of being a royal nation in association with their Messiah as the future rulers of the world. This hope failed as a result of their rejection of the Messiah, although when awakened from the sleep of death they will receive an opportunity to accept Jesus as their Redeemer, and those who do will say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

Jesus had performed many miracles in Israel, and on the occasion of this final visit to Jerusalem “the whole multitude of the disciples [that is, the believers] began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”

Hearing this acclamation, some of the Pharisees requested Jesus to rebuke his disciples, “and he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

When Jesus came near to Jerusalem he began to weep over the city, lamenting that the eyes of the people had been closed to the significance of his presence with them. Forecasting the doom of the city, he said, “The days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

Jesus went into the temple “and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying unto them, “It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (see Jer. 7:11) Jesus taught daily in the temple, at least for a short time, “but the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.”

What an excellent opportunity this was for the Master to present his message of the kingdom, for there would be many more worshiping in the temple than at other times of the year. It had been said of Jesus that never had man spoken as this man did, and with what rapt attention those people in the temple must have listened to him! Besides, probably many of them had been robbed by the money changers whom Jesus had cast out of the temple, and he would be appreciated by them for this much needed reform in temple practices. However, it was not long after this that Jesus’ enemies did succeed in destroying him, but in his death he became the world’s Redeemer.


What did Jesus mean when he said to the Israelites, “Your house is left unto you desolate”?

Who were the money changers?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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