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(Luke 19:41-48) Jesus Wept . . . Again!

(Luke 19:41-48) Jesus Wept . . . Again!

by Stephen Davey
Series: Sermons in Luke
Ref: Luke 19:41–48

As Jesus enters Jerusalem for the final time, He understands the significance of this moment in the context of biblical prophecy. He knows that the prophet Daniel had been pointing to that very day as the moment when the Messiah would arrive. Yet the Jewish religious leaders offered Jesus no fanfare; it seemed like no one was looking for the Messiah at that moment. And so, Jesus wept. And the question for us today is, Will Jesus celebrate or weep over our eternal fate?

Sermon Summary:

As Jesus approached Jerusalem for what would be his final entry, he was acutely aware of the prophetic significance of the moment. The prophet Daniel had foretold the arrival of the Messiah, and this was the day marked by prophecy. Despite this, the Jewish religious leaders did not celebrate his coming; it seemed as though no one was truly awaiting the Messiah. This lack of recognition and the broader implications of unbelief led Jesus to weep over the city and its people.

The narrative recalls the story of Charles Templeton, a contemporary and once close friend of evangelist Billy Graham. Templeton, who had been a preacher and associate of Graham, began to doubt the reliability of Scripture and core Christian beliefs. His doubts led him to abandon Christianity, and he even attempted to persuade Graham to do the same. Graham remained steadfast in his faith, and their friendship dissolved. Templeton went on to critique Christianity in his book "Farewell to God." In his later years, despite his disbelief in Jesus as the Son of God, Templeton expressed a deep admiration and adoration for Jesus, acknowledging his moral genius and the goodness he learned from him. However, it was noted that Templeton, and many like him, ultimately missed the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior, Messiah, and King.

The scene of Jesus entering Jerusalem is one of mixed signals. The crowd appeared to adore Jesus, laying their cloaks on the ground and shouting "Hosanna!"—a plea for salvation. They waved palm branches, a sign of royalty, and sang songs from Psalm 118, altering the lyrics to honor Jesus as King. However, their adoration was conditional; they were looking for a revolutionary leader to overthrow Roman rule, not the Prince of Peace who was offering a different kind of deliverance.

Jesus wept over the city, not only for the suffering and death that sin had brought into the world but also for the unbelief of the nation of Israel. He grieved over their rejection of him and the devastating consequences that would follow. Jesus prophesied the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, which would occur in A.D. 70 under General Titus, as a result of the people's failure to recognize the time of their visitation by the Prince of Peace.

The narrative also touches on the future recognition of Jesus' royalty in heaven, as depicted in the Book of Revelation, where a multitude from every nation will stand before the throne with palm branches, acknowledging the salvation of God.

Jesus' actions in the temple courtyard further illustrate his authority and the corruption he confronted. The Court of the Gentiles, meant to be a place of prayer and worship, had been turned into a marketplace. Jesus cleansed the temple, driving out those who were exploiting worshippers, and restored the space to its intended purpose. He taught daily in the temple, captivating the people with his words, despite the hostility of religious leaders who sought to destroy him.

The account concludes with a reflection on personal response to Jesus. It challenges individuals to consider their own expectations of Jesus, their conditional satisfaction with him, and whether they are genuinely interested in his teachings or merely following the crowd. It raises the question of whether Jesus would weep over one's unbelief or celebrate their faith.

Key Takeaways:

  • The recognition of Jesus as the Messiah is not merely a historical event but a personal encounter that requires a response. The adoration of Jesus must go beyond superficial praise and extend to an acceptance of his lordship and the peace he offers. This peace is not of a political or revolutionary nature but is rooted in spiritual reconciliation with God.
  • The story of Charles Templeton serves as a poignant reminder that intellectual admiration for Jesus' moral teachings is insufficient without the acknowledgment of his divine nature and role as Savior. The heart can admire and even adore Jesus, yet still miss the eternal relationship he offers.
  • The prophetic fulfillment of Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem underscores the precision and reliability of biblical prophecy. It also highlights the tragedy of missed opportunities when individuals, including religious leaders, are so focused on their own agendas that they overlook the divine plan unfolding before them.
  • Jesus' cleansing of the temple is a powerful demonstration of his authority over religious practices and his disdain for corruption that exploits the faithful. This act is a call to maintain the purity and purpose of worship spaces, ensuring they remain places of genuine prayer and learning rather than commercial exploitation.
  • The final reflection on personal response to Jesus emphasizes the importance of examining one's own faith. It challenges individuals to consider whether their interest in Jesus is conditional, based on personal expectations, or if it is a genuine, enduring commitment that persists regardless of life's circumstances. It invites a deep introspection on whether one's life aligns with the teachings of Jesus and whether they truly hang on to every word he has said.

Five-Day Devotional

Day 1: Embracing Jesus Beyond the Superficial

True adoration of Jesus transcends mere words and must be rooted in the acceptance of His sovereignty and the peace He brings. This peace is not of this world but is found in the spiritual reconciliation that Jesus offers, which requires a personal encounter and response from each believer.

Zechariah 9:9 - "Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

Reflection: How does your worship reflect a deep acceptance of Jesus' lordship in your life, beyond just Sunday services?

Day 2: Intellectual Admiration vs. Heartfelt Belief

Admiring Jesus for His moral teachings is different from embracing Him as Lord and Savior. Intellectual respect for His teachings must be accompanied by a heartfelt belief in His divine nature to experience the fullness of the relationship He offers.

1 Corinthians 2:14 - "The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit."

Reflection: In what ways might you be admiring Jesus from a distance rather than fully committing to Him as your Savior?

Day 3: Recognizing Divine Timeliness

The fulfillment of prophecy in Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem highlights the precision of Scripture and the tragedy of missing divine appointments due to personal agendas. Recognizing God's timing in our lives is crucial for aligning with His plans.

Habakkuk 2:3 - "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."

Reflection: Are there areas in your life where you might be overlooking God's timing due to your own plans or expectations?

Day 4: Purity in Worship and Practice

Jesus' cleansing of the temple is a call to maintain the purity of worship spaces and practices. It is a reminder to ensure that our places of worship remain dedicated to prayer and learning, free from the corruption of worldly interests.

Malachi 3:1-2 - "I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty. "But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap."

Reflection: How can you contribute to maintaining the purity and purpose of your local church and its practices?

Day 5: Examining Our Response to Jesus

Our personal response to Jesus should be a genuine, enduring commitment that persists regardless of life's circumstances. It is important to examine whether our interest in Him is conditional or rooted in a deep, unwavering faith.

Luke 8:15 - "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop."

Reflection: Reflect on your commitment to Jesus. Is it influenced by conditions and expectations, or is it steadfast and growing regardless of the situation?

Discussion Guide

Bible Reading:

  1. Luke 19:41-44 (NIV) "As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 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. 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. 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.'"
  2. Luke 19:45-46 (NIV) "When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 'It is written,' he said to them, 'My house will be a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers.'"
  3. Revelation 7:9-10 (NIV) "After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'"

Observation Questions:

  1. What emotions did Jesus express as He approached Jerusalem, and what did He prophesy would happen to the city?
  2. What actions did Jesus take when He entered the temple courts, and what reason did He give for these actions?
  3. In the vision of Revelation, what are the people from every nation doing before the throne, and what are they holding in their hands.

Interpretation Questions:

  1. Why do you think Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and what does this reveal about His heart for the people?
  2. Considering Jesus' actions in the temple, what can we infer about His view on the purpose of the temple and the conduct of those within it?
  3. What significance do the palm branches have in both the scene of Jesus entering Jerusalem and the vision in Revelation?

Application Questions:

  1. Reflect on a time when you felt deeply moved by the spiritual state of your community or someone you know. How did you respond, and what action can you take now to address it?
  2. Have you ever witnessed or been part of a situation where the purpose of a sacred space was forgotten or misused? What steps can you take to help restore its intended purpose?
  3. This week, identify a moment when you can demonstrate peace and reconciliation in a personal relationship or community setting. What specific action will you take?
  4. Think of a way you can honor Jesus as King in your daily life. What is one change you can make to ensure your actions reflect this acknowledgment?
  5. Consider the global church depicted in Revelation. How can you contribute to the unity and diversity of God's kingdom through your interactions with people of different backgrounds this month?


Jesus Wept . . . Again!

Luke 19:41-48

In the late 1940s, Charles Templeton was a close friend and preaching associate of Billy Graham. At times, he preached for Billy at large events in major arenas.

However, doubts began to nag at him. Instead of turning to scripture, he questioned the reliability of Scripture and other core Christian beliefs. He finally abandoned Christianity and even made an attempt to persuade Billy Graham to do the same.

Billy Graham refused, and their close friendship ended.

Templeton resigned from the ministry and became a novelist and news commentator. He wrote an autobiography of sorts, where he critiqued Christianity. The title of the book is, Farewell to God.

Several decades ago, author Lee Strobel interviewed him for his book called, The Case for Faith. Templeton was 83 years of age and suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Eventually Stroble asked him what he thought about Jesus in these latter years of his life – with not much longer to live. Stroble was surprised at Templeton’s response.

Templeton said he didn’t believe Jesus was the Son of God, but, said, “Jesus was the greatest human being who ever lived – a moral genius.” Templeton added, “Jesus is wisest person I know of; everything good I know, everything decent I know, everything pure I know, I learned from Jesus. I know it may sound strange, but I have to say I adore Him! He is the most important human being who has ever existed. But if I may put it this way, I miss Him.

With that, he began to cry, and he refused to say anything more. A few months later, Charles Templeton died. [Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith (Zondervan, 2000), pp. 7-23]

I couldn’t help but think that he missed Jesus entirely, and tragically, eternally.

I also couldn’t help but think how many Charles Templetons there are in the world today – people who live near you, work with you, belong to your family, attend church with you – perhaps some are here today – who would say they adore Jesus  - they admire Jesus; they believe Jesus is wise and significant in world history – but – at some point they will reject Him as their Savior, Messiah and King – telling the world that they were wrong – Jesus is not the Son of God.

And they too, will miss Him forever.

If you could caption what’s happening in Jerusalem as Jesus literally rides into town, it would be this – they seemed to adore Him, but in the end, they missed Him. Their ultimate rejection of Him will cause them to miss Him entirely and eternally.

In our last study, we watched as Jesus rode an unbroken colt – the foal of a donkey – it was Sunday late afternoon when he arrived.

Riding a donkey was rich with symbolism – it symbolized Jesus as the King of Israel, in the royal line of his forefather, King David. Riding a donkey on coronation day was the symbolic message of a King arriving with humility and in peace.

The people have lined the road, placing their cloaks on the ground – which was their symbolic way of telling Jesus that He had all authority over their lives. He could “walk all over them” as we would say it today.

Now the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 21, informs us that the people are shouting “Hosanna!” which is the Hebrew word for “Save us now!” This was a patriotic chant as they looked for Jesus now to overthrow Rome and take up His throne.

They were excited about Jesus – they were anticipating a revolution – Jesus was anticipating a resurrection.

The gospel of John tells us that this massive crowd of people also were waving palm branches at the Lord as He rode into town. This was a symbolic activity reserved for the recognition of royalty.

They were declaring Him King.

By the way, we’re all gonna get our chance at recognizing the royalty of our Savior in this same manner.

The Book of Revelation shows all the redeemed in Heaven – John writes in chapter 7 and verse 9:

I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb … with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne … Revelation 7:9-10

If you’ve watched little children in some Easter pageant waving palm branches and you wished you’d had a chance to do that when you were little – well, you’re gonna get your chance.

People of all ages will be recognizing the royalty of our Savior and our King and our true and living God – even the Lamb who died to redeem us.

So here’s the scene: at Jesus comes riding into town, the crowd is waving palm branches, shouting Hosanna, throwing their garments on the road in front of Him – and one more activity is taking place – I mentioned this last Lord’s Day:

They are singing a popular song – they had memorized the lyrics back when they were children – lyrics taken from Psalm 118 – a great Passover Song; but now they are directing it toward Jesus – and they’ve changed the words from:

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  Psalm 118:26


“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”  Luke 19:38

The King is coming! Our deliverer is riding into town! The city is effectively going crazy with excitement.

I can’t help but chuckle at the religious leaders – they had assumed that Jesus might try to sneak into town to celebrate Passover with His disciples and then sneak back out.

So back in John 11:57, the Sanhedrin had given orders to all the citizens that if anyone knew where Jesus was, they were to report it. If anyone knows where He is, tell us!

Does anybody know where Jesus is?! The entire city has turned out to celebrate and sing at His arrival.

The Pharisees are left saying to each other – back in John 12 (v. 19): “Look, the world has gone after Him.”

The world has gone after Him! Everybody adores Him – He’s the most significant person in the world – they are all following Him.

Sadly, in a matter of days, most of this crowd will miss Him . . . they will miss Him, entirely, eternally.

Now as we put the gospel accounts together:

  • Jesus makes His royal appearance on this Sunday afternoon and into the evening;
  • He accepts from the people the acknowledgment of His royal right to rule;
  • He rides into town, dismounts, and briefly goes to the Temple.
  • Then leaves for the night.

Mark’s gospel account says:

And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. Mark 11:11

The next day, on Monday, Mark’s gospel informs us that Jesus now walks with His disciples back to Jerusalem. There’s no colt this time; no crowd – just the Lord and His disciples.

Along the way, Jesus curses a fig tree that is without fruit – this is symbolic gesture pointing to the spiritual barrenness of the nation Israel.

And then, He descends the Mount of Olives, and comes into a clear view of the city of Jerusalem below.

Now let’s pick up the narrative again in Luke’s gospel account – chapter 19 – where we left off at verse 41.

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace? But now they are hidden from your eyes.  Luke 19:41-42

Jesus is effectively saying, “If only you knew that on this day – on this Monday – this very day that your Prince of Peace is arriving with the terms of peace that mankind can settle with God – on this day, you weren’t really interested.

Jesus is weeping . . . again.

Only recently, Jesus had wept at the tomb of Lazarus – weeping that suffering and death were in the world, because of sin.

Now here, Jesus is weeping over the unbelief of the nation Israel – and everyone who rejects Him for that matter – all the Charles Templeton’s of the world.

Jesus is weeping – literally, He burst into tears – not just a tear or two, Jesus is literally sobbing – He’s grieving specifically, over Israel’s rejection.

Sure, they wanted to crown Him king, but only if He turned out to be the King they wanted! And He’s not gonna turn out to be the kind of King they wanted.

What are you wanting from Jesus? Do you respect Him, adore Him, sing songs to Him, so long has He makes it worth it?

I believe there are thousands, if not more, who say they are following Jesus, but it’s only because they’re hoping Jesus will be their good luck charm. And if good luck turns into a difficult life, then never mind! We’ll stop singing.

Jesus is weeping with compassion for the nation who will reject Him. He’s also weeping for the death and devastation that will arrive on the heels of their unbelief.

And with that, Jesus now prophesies – He says here in verse 43:

For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation. Luke 19:43-44

Jesus doesn’t just see Jerusalem before Him, as He walks down the Mount of Olives weeping – as omniscient God, He sees the future of Jerusalem as the Jewish people revolt against Rome and take up the sword and Jerusalem is eventually destroyed.

The Roman emperor’s son, General Titus, will arrive in AD 70 and do everything Jesus predicts here. [Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Insights on Luke (Zondervan, 2012), p. 450]

Josephus, the first century Jewish historian wrote about the devastation of Jerusalem by Titus and his forces. Josephus writes this:

While the temple was burning … neither pity for age nor respect for rank was shown. On the contrary, the [people] were massacred … the emperor ordered the entire city and the temple to be razed to the ground, leaving only the loftiest of the towers, and the western wall … the rest of the city was so [destroyed] as to leave future visitors no reason to believe that the city had ever been inhabited.” [William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke (Baker Book House, 1978), p. 878]

Jesus had come to offer peace – but the people wanted war. He was offering redemption, but they wanted a revolution – they wanted a Revolutionary Warrior, not the Prince of Peace.

And Jesus says here, “If only you had known what today means – today – Luke writes Jesus saying – again in verse 31:

“Would that you … had known on this day the things that make for peace!” Luke 19:31a

Jesus’ particular mention of this day is not a throwaway line; it’s another prophetic clue to what’s happening here.

Trouble is, by now, the religious leaders really don’t care about prophecy they care about their own power – they aren’t really looking for a King to take over for them.

You might remember how they had ignored the Magi – the Wise Men from Persia who had arrived in Jerusalem looking to worship the newly born King of the Jews.

These magi were spiritual descendants of Daniel, their leading Magi – their prophet leader back there in Persia.

But the religious leaders didn’t even care to accompany the Magi to Bethlehem to check out what they knew the scriptures had said – they had even quoted Old Testament prophecy to answer the Magi’s question – they gave the Magi the home address of the Messiah’s birth – it’s 6 miles from Jerusalem – over there in Bethlehem.

They knew that. The religious leaders had the right interpretation, they just didn’t wanna make any kind of personal application.

Well, that’s happening again here, in Luke 19. The religious leaders don’t care about another prophecy of Daniel.

We don’t have a lot of time to spend on the nuances of Daniel’s prophecy, but if you’d like to dig deeper into it, Harold Hoener, long-time New Testament professor at Dallas seminary, wrote a book called the Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ – including the timing of the Lord’s arrival here.

Hoener breaks down this prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 where Daniel is told by Gabriel that a decree will be given to rebuild Jerusalem. Then centuries later, Daniel is told, the Anointed Prince will arrive, but then be killed.

Then Daniel offers a prophetic math equation for all the math scholars out there to sharpen their pencils and figure out.

Dr. Hoener, and other Bible scholars, did the math for us – they believe that Daniel’s prophecy indicated that the Anointed Prince would arrive in Jerusalem 476 years and 25 days after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.

Now we know from biblical history that the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given to Nehemiah on March 5th, 444 BC.

And that started the countdown.

We have no doubt that Jewish leaders were aware of this prophecy and some of them might have been counting down the years.

And here’s where it gets interesting, even though your head might be spinning.

If you add 476 years and 25 days to the decree given to Nehemiah on March 5th, 444 BC, you land on Monday, March 30th, 33 AD.

This day – this Monday – when Jesus arrives and stays – in Jerusalem, until the Prince is killed.

That’s why Jesus is saying here, “Don’t you know what day it is?!”

Don’t you know what day it is? Haven’t you been counting down the years?

This is one of the reasons the prophecies of Daniel are discounted by liberal Jewish scholars to this day. In fact, the Jewish world today doesn’t place Daniel with the other Old Testament prophets.

Now after Jesus delivers this prophecy, He once again moves into the temple. He had scouted it out the night before, remember, He came and looked around and then left.

Well, He’s about to clean it out. The first time He cleansed the temple was at the beginning of His ministry, back in John chapter 2.

But He’s gonna clean it out again. But more than that, Jesus is declaring that He is the Lord of the Temple – Luke describes what happens here in verse 45.

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” Luke 19:45-46

Jesus has entered the outer court – the Court of the Gentiles. It was open to all the nations – it was supposed to be a place of worship, but it had become a flea market.

And Jesus just moves in and starts clean it out.

And think about this: you would never barge into your neighbor’s home and say, “Get outta the way, I’m gonna vacuum everything.” If somebody did that to you, you might shout “Hallelujah” . . . they might become your new best friend.

But if you went to somebody’s house who didn’t know you, they’d probably call for help.

You really don’t have the right to clean somebody else’s home – in fact, you don’t have the right to tell them it needs cleaning.

But Jesus is going into His house – and He has the right to say it needs to be cleaned out.

Now it might help, if you are new to our study, to know that the Court of the Gentiles was the only place Gentiles could come into the temple precinct who wanted to worship God. They might enter this courtyard because they’re simply interested in what’s going on.

Warren Wiersbe makes the interesting point that this was the place where faithful Jews could witness to unbelieving Gentiles – telling them about the only true and living God. But instead of being devoted to evangelism where the Jewish people could be a blessing to the nations of the world, it was devoted to turning a profit. [Adapted from Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Courageous (Victor Books, 1989), p. 81]

And let me tell you, business was booming! [Hendriksen, p. 879]

There were four markets on the Mount of Olives that sold everything needed – [Dale Ralph Davis, Luke: The Year of the Lord’s Favor (Christian Focus, 2021), p. 129]

  • So that whenever the worshipper arrived at the Temple, they were ready to offer their sacrifices.

But the priesthood had turned this into a money-making scam. The priests were declining the suitability of animals purchased outside the temple court – forcing worshippers to purchase animals from the temple stock. And they were overcharging.

They were also charging a fee to enter. And all the currencies of the day were conveniently declared unclean – coins made by the Greeks and Romans and Syrians and Egyptians – all of it was unacceptable.  [William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (Westminster Press, 1975), p. 241]

So tables were lined up everywhere for people to exchange their coins for ceremonially cleansed currency that had been minted in Israel. [Swindoll, p. 451]

And all of this was operated by the High Priest and his family who were skimming off the top and padding their pockets.

Now get this picture in your mind. The Gentile Court was a marble-paved area – as long as three football fields long and almost as wide.  [R. Kent Hughes, Mark: Volume 2 (Crossway Books, 1999), p. 87 ]

It was lined with stalls and shops for selling cattle and sheep and birds and wine and oil and flour and salt – everything needed for sacrifices.

The merchants are shouting for attention and the people are bargaining – thousands of people are waiting in lines – it was almost as bad Costco on a Friday.

The noise alone would have been deafening and unnerving. The Gentile Court had been converted into a county fair – a flea market – a mall – and a cattle Stock yard all rolled up into one.

And behind it all was the religious headquarters of organized corruption – a religious mafia was in full-blown operation extorting – deceiving – misleading the worshippers.

But Jesus had another expression for it – He calls it here: a den of thieves. A cave full of robbers who are counting their stolen goods.

Well, Jesus isn’t weeping now. And let me tell you, He feels the same righteous anger today toward those who have turned religion into a scam – instead of leading the flock and feeding the flock, they are fleecing the flock.

No more tears from Jesus now!

Mark’s gospel account is most vivid here – he writes in chapter 11 at verse 15:

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers Stop: have you ever seen or heard a table flipped over? I mean violently flipped over. That’s what He’s doing here.

I actually thought of having a table brought in here and then flipping it over – but I was afraid it would break the table and the elders would make me pay for it.

Imagine the crashing sound as Jesus flips over tables on this marble floor – coins scattering, clanging everywhere –

Jesus also overturned – Mark writes here – the seats of those who sold pigeons  Now you’ve got loose pigeons flying everywhere –

Mark adds this phrase here in verse 16:

And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. Mark 11:15-16

So get this – in addition to everything else, the courtyard of the Gentiles had become a shortcut for people wanting to get their merchandise from one side of town to the other – they were cutting through the courtyard. [Adapted from R. Kent Hughes, Luke: Volume 2 (Crossway Books, 1998), p. 247]

Never mind the worshippers; never mind this sacred precinct.

This wasn’t supposed to be a shortcut; this was supposed to be a sanctuary:

  • a place to pray and meditate on scripture –
  • a place for Gentiles to learn about the God of Israel –
  • a place to worship the true and living God.

But this courtyard had become a thoroughfare – a barnyard – a circus!

Let me tell you, the Master has just arrived – the Lord of the temple is declaring His ownership – Jesus is cleaning out His house!

And when He’s finished – Jesus turns this courtyard into a schoolroom – one author called it: a royal chapel where the courtyard becomes his pulpit. [Hughes, p. 250]

Luke writes here in verse 47:

And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words. Luke 19:47-48

This is courageous defiance. Jesus knows there’s a price on His head. [Barclay, p. 242]

  • The leaders want to kill Him;
  • merchants are upset with Him;
  • the traffic patterns are turned around;
  • people are crowding in to hear Him;
  • the crowd is still hopeful about Him;
  • Roman soldiers will soon arrest Him.

But until they do, right on schedule, Jesus has arrived – to the day – to the day – and look at Him here teaching the nations of the world in that Gentile Court – and they are hanging on to every word.

No doubt some will believe – they will never forget this day!

Where do you see yourself in this Jerusalem scene:

  • Are you excited about Jesus so long as He meets your expectations?
  • Is your satisfaction with Him based on conditions He needs to meet?
  • Are you upset that He’s messed up your schedule – you’re having to walk the long way around that football field of life – everything just slowed down or got difficult?
  • Are you following the majority opinion about Jesus – whatever the crowd thinks of Him – you’re not going to disagree?
  • Are you interested in His teaching for a period of time – or are you, even now, hanging on to every word?
  • Would Jesus be weeping over your unbelief? Would He be weeping for you today?


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