Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
In this week’s readings we have seen the idea that God is the savior, that he provides for his people, and that salvation is according to his plan, not according to ours. The application of this concept shows up in our Gospel passage, Luke 19:41-48. Here Jesus is weeping over Jerusalem. The city will lie in ruins and its enemies will destroy not only the city structures but the people as well. Why will this happen? Because Jerusalem refused to recognize Jesus, the one who visited them with salvation.
Is this a sign that God is weak and unable to rescue his people? Couldn’t God just bail out Jerusalem, smite the Romans, and call it finished?
God is not weak. But he doesn’t work according to our plans or our rules. He works according to his own plans and rules. Salvation is by grace through faith, not of our works. The only way Jerusalem will be rescued from her enemies is by believing that the true God, the God of the Bible, is the rescuer. The only way they will fight off the enemies is by trusting in God and waiting on Him. They can’t do it in their own strength. It is God’s plan, not ours, which will prevail.
And it makes God weep when his people depart from his ways. That’s the kind of God he is. He has given us freely a way of life, hope, and salvation, yet we have despised the gift and the giver. God reacts to this in sorrow, knowing that his mercy will be rejected and people will prefer to use their own means, means which will surely fail. Yet he allows it. God is God. His ways are not our ways. He has opened a way of life, but we reject it.
This is why we pray for ourselves, our church, our family, and our world. To walk in the way of life is not something we can do by our own strength. May God give us grace that we would not make him grieve.
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