41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:41-44)
This week, known by some as Passion Week or Holy Week is a special week in the Christian calendar. The introductory notes to 40 Days of Discipline emphasizes the fact that the Disciplines hold no intrinsic value in and of themselves. They are valuable tools only to the extent that they keep Jesus at the center and help us to improve our love for God and others. So, as we participate in this closing week, our attention will be more explicitly focused on Jesus. Throughout this year’s journey our theme has been “Overcoming Challenges”. We assessed ourselves via a survey in the first week; examined the David & Goliath story as a model for facing challenges in the second week; and recently we have been exploring answers to challenges using “Dear Libby” letters. Well, we have saved the best for last! Over these final six days we will focus on the ultimate answer to overcoming our challenges – Jesus. We will do this by examining some of the key qualities of Jesus exhibited around the time of his death and resurrection.
Today, we start by examining events that occurred directly after Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. As many of us will have celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday, this is a great place to start. Pleas read the passage above and pay close attention to the portrayal of the emotions Jesus displayed. From the tears of Jesus, we can draw only one conclusion, He cares for people facing challenges. This of course is not the only example of how much Jesus cared for people facing challenges. His compassion is on display in many other circumstances including in Matthew 9:36 where we read, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Please answer the question below.
The image of Jesus weeping puts an exclamation mark behind the statement that He cares! What assurance do you take from this quality of Jesus as you consider challenges you or your loved ones face?
Note: If you have the time, research and consider other circumstances when Jesus’ compassion was on display in addition to the two passages provided above.