Thursday 18 November 2010

Bible Book:

"As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it." (v. 41)

Luke 19:41-44 Thursday 18 November 2010


Luke understands the coming devastation of Jerusalem as anaspect of the passion story, and a precise consequence of therejection of the Messiah. The calamity which will leave you without"one stone upon another" is, "because you did not recognise thetime of your visitation from God" (verse 44). If they had only seenJesus as the one who will "make for peace" (verse 42), then thehorror would not have come. In this story, Jesus' reaction to thisrejection, as in the whole passion story, is compassion and notanger. He weeps over the city. The heart of God breaks because ofthe consequences of humanity's rejection of "the things that makefor peace!" (verse 42)

A clear distinction is made because consequence is not the same aspunishment. I may, for example, drive my car very badly, withoutdue attention or care, and as a consequence crash the car. Thecrash may result in a serious impact on my health, others and mybank balance. However, such a terrible consequence won't of itselffree me from the way the law might still want to treat me. If itwere to be shown that I had indeed failed to pay proper attentionor drive without due care, I could, in addition receive apunishment from the magistrate. When we talk of God's mercy in theface of our disobedience, it is to our punishment that we refer andnot the consequence of our disobedience. By rejecting, "things thatmake for peace" we may well experience terrible things; enemies,who will, "set up ramparts around you and surround you" (verse 43).But in this story we notice that the person who is rejected, eventhough our rejection is hugely damaging, weeps for us. The Messiahwho comes to bring peace, suffers rejection and is crucified, butpersists in reaching out to a doubly broken and damaged people withlove that 'will not let me go'.

To Ponder

"Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were apresent far too small." How do you respond to the words of thefamous hymn, in the light of what you have just read?

Where is God in my story at the moment, seekingto bring peace, hurting for me and with me?

In Prisons Week, where can I show compassion forthose whose behaviour has resulted not only in punishment, but inmany other painful consequences?

And Pray
"Love so amazing so divine, demands my soul, my life, myall."

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