“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, murdering the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a mother fowl gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused!
Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate (abandoned and left destitute of God’s help).
For I declare to you, you will not see Me again until you say, Blessed (magnified in worship, adored, and exalted) is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! Matthew 23: 7-39 AMP
The Pharisees were known as the most righteous people around. Outwardly, they kept the Law as perfectly as a person possibly could. But they refused to listen to the Word of God that came from their lips. They heard it. They knew the words. As a matter of fact, the scribes were experts in God’s law. They knew all the ins and outs of all the commandments of God.
Outwardly, they were the best people you’d ever meet. But inwardly, they were a different story. That’s why Jesus called them whitewashed tombs in verse 27. They were beautifully maintained and sparkling white on the outside where everybody could see. But on the inside, they were rotten and decayed and corrupt. Jesus said that on the inside, they were full of dead men’s bones.
The scribes and Pharisees would let you know how much they regarded God’s Word. But did they really?
Romans 10:3 says: “For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law” (NLT).
They were so busy trying to establish their own righteousness that they forgot what God’s Word said.
Remember Isaiah 64:6: “All of us have been sinful; even our best actions are filthy through and through. Because of our sins we are like leaves that wither and are blown away by the wind” (GNT).
See, that’s what the Jews could never get into their heads. It does not matter if you are a real good person. It does not matter if you give people the shirt off your back. I t does not matter if you’re the best neighbor in the whole world. If that’s what you are trusting in—it’s filthy rags. That is what Israel was trusting in. They were trusting in their own righteousness instead of heeding the urgent warnings in God’s Word. They did not heed the urgent warnings to turn from relying upon themselves and turn to trusting in Him.
He was weeping over those He came to die for who would receive Him not. Why would that make Him weep? Because the next time they would see Him would be in judgment.
That time is described in Revelation 20:11-15: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Why did Jesus weep over Jerusalem? He gave them His Word. They heard it. They knew it but they refused to heed His urgent warnings.
Jesus gave Israel His Word and He gave them His grace. He gave them opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to turn to Him. But they refused.
He is still giving you that same opportunity today. What are you doing with it?
Will you turn to Him? Or will you face the consequences?
If you refuse to turn to Him, you will reap what you sow on this earth. But that pales in comparison to the judgment you are storing up for yourself.
Jesus is standing over you right now, just like He stood over Jerusalem over 2000 years ago. Is He weeping for you? If He is, come to His open arms today.