The Weeping King

That all might believe through Him  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Text: “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. Luke 19:41-42
‌Scripture reading: Luke 19:28-42
Sermon passage: Luke 19:41-42
The siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD was the decisive event of the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 AD), in which the Roman army led by future emperor Titus besieged Jerusalem, the center of Jewish rebel resistance in the Roman province of Judaea.
1. Following a five-month siege, the Romans destroyed the city and the Second Jewish Temple.
2. In April 70 AD, three days before Passover, the Roman army started besieging Jerusalem.
3. The city had been taken over by several rebel factions following a period of massive unrest and the collapse of a short-lived provisional government.
a. Within three weeks, the Roman army broke the first two walls of the city, but a stubborn rebel standoff prevented them from penetrating the thickest and third wall.
4. According to Josephus, a contemporary historian and the main source for the war, the city was ravaged by murder, famine, and cannibalism.
5. On Tisha B'Av, 70 AD (August 30), Roman forces overwhelmed the defenders and set fire to the Temple.
a. Resistance continued for another month, but eventually the upper and lower parts of the city were taken as well, and the city was burned to the ground.
6. Titus spared only the three towers of the Herodian citadel as a testimony to the city's former might.
a. The siege had a major toll on human life, with many people being killed and enslaved, and large parts of the city destroyed.
b. This victory gave the Flavian dynasty legitimacy to claim control over the empire.
7. A triumph was held in Rome to celebrate the conquest of Jerusalem, and two triumphal arches were built to commemorate it.
8. The treasures looted from the Temple were put on display.
9. The destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple marked a major turning point in Jewish history.
10. The loss of the city and temple necessitated a reshaping of Jewish culture to ensure its survival.
11. Judaism's Temple-based sects, including the priesthood and the Sadducees, diminished in importance.
a. A new form of Judaism that became known as Rabbinic Judaism developed out of Pharisaic school and eventually became the mainstream form of the religion.
b. Many followers of Jesus of Nazareth also survived the city's destruction.
i. They spread his teachings across the Roman Empire, giving rise to the new religion of Christianity.
12. After the war had ended, a military camp of Legio X Fretensis was established on the city's ruins.
a. Jerusalem was later re-founded as the Roman colony of Aelia Capitolina.
i. Foreign cults were introduced, and Jews were forbidden entry.
One of the first references to Jesus Christ was the magi’s question, “Where is he that is born king of the Jews?”(Matt. 2:2) The last reference to Jesus was written on a crude sign over his head on the cross: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” And in between these references are many more that speak of Jesus’ role as a king.
I. In his temptation experience, Jesus was offered the kingdoms of this world on the Devil’s terms, but he rejected kingship on that basis.
II. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus described the nature of his kingdom and the characteristics of the citizens of his kingdom.
III. Throughout his ministry, Jesus demonstrated kingly authority over the demonic, over disease, and over death.
IV. There were times when his disciples wanted to make him a king.
a. They were thinking of him as a nationalistic and political king who would reestablish the sovereignty of the nation of Israel as a political force in the world.
V. Jesus also rejected that kind of kingship.
In his triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of Passion Week, our Lord boldly and compassionately offered himself as the King of love and grace.
I. The triumphal entry, which is recorded in all four of the Gospels (Matt. 21: 1– 11; Mark 11: 1– 11; Luke 19: 29– 44; John 12: 12– 19), was Jesus’ bold declaration of his messiahship and his claim to be the Christ of God.
II. He came into Jerusalem not to assert his sovereign rights to the throne of David’s political kingdom, but to declare his kingship in the hearts of those who would trust and follow him.
William Barclay has described this most beautifully and significantly when he said:
He came lowly and riding upon a donkey. We must be careful to see the real meaning of that. In western lands the donkey is a despised beast; but in eastern lands, the donkey could be a noble animal. Often a king came riding upon a donkey; but when he came upon a donkey, it was the sign that he came in peace. The horse was the mount of war! The donkey was the mount of peace. So when Jesus claimed to be king, He claimed to be the king of peace. He showed that He came, not to destroy, but to love; not to condemn, but to help; not in the might of arms, but in the strength of love.
(The Gospel of Matthew, vol. 2 [Philadelphia: Westminster], 267.)
Luke describes one experience in connection with the triumphal entry that is not recorded by the other apostles.
I. “As [Jesus] 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’” (19: 41– 42 NIV).
a. Here we see the King weeping over the city.
b. The King was not weeping for himself. These were not tears of self-pity, remorse, or personal failure.
c. They were the tears of a King suffering for his people.
Greg Laurie says it best in “What Breaks God's Heart” by Harvest Ministries.
“Jesus also wept because His ministry was almost over. Time was short. He had healed their sick. He had raised their dead. He had cleansed their lepers. He had fed their hungry. He had forgiven their sins. Yet for the most part, He had been rejected. John 1:11 says, ‘He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.’ And so He wept. This broke His heart, and it still does.”
I. The King was weeping because of his perfect knowledge.
a. Jesus’ heart was filled with compassion for his people.
b. He was experiencing the pain of a shallow acceptance that did not deceive him into believing that the people were willing to accept a King of love, grace, mercy, and righteousness.
c. He had a perfect knowledge of the situation in the past, present, and future; and this knowledge caused his heart to break with compassionate concern.
II. The King was weeping because of the blindness and deafness of the people.
a. Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus restored sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf on many occasions.
i. He did that to help the people see the need for really using their eyes for seeing and their ears for hearing.
b. Jesus sought to minister to a group of people whose minds were filled with conceit and complacency.
i. They had a feeling of spiritual superiority when they considered those around them.
ii. They were preoccupied with their own ways and goals and were unwilling to open their minds to new truth about God as Jesus was trying to communicate it.
iii. They were spiritually and morally blind and deaf and would not permit themselves to see and hear.
c. This caused the King to weep on their behalf.
III. The King was weeping because the city was passing up its opportunity forever.
a. Once opportunity comes to us, if it is not recognized and seized, we miss it and it is gone forever.
b. Jesus knew that his people would never know what they were missing because of their unwillingness to believe and respond to him as the Messiah of love.
c. He wept because they were passing up their unique opportunity.
IV. The King was weeping because the city was on a collision course with disaster.
a. Jesus could foresee that the nation was veering toward political disaster.
b. He describes this in Matthew 24, in which he foretells the destruction of the temple and the calamity that would befall the city.
Matthew 24:1–2 (NIV)
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down.”
c. His prophecy became reality by AD 70, when the Roman general Titus captured and destroyed the city.
V. The tears of a weeping King give us insight into his character.
a. Jesus came to reveal God’s nature and character to people.
b. He came to reveal that God is not cold, distant, removed, and unconcerned.
c. He came to reveal that God loves people and wants to save them from their self-destructiveness.
i. Paul describes the compassion of this King who, though he existed in the form of God, did not hold on to the prerogatives of that position, but instead poured himself out into the form of a man so that he might come and rescue humans from sin (Phil. 2: 5– 8).
ii. This God-appointed King submitted to the humiliation and pain of crucifixion so that he might reveal God’s concern for his people (Matt. 27: 32– 44).
The tears of the King reveal the heartbreak of God.
VI. The tears of the weeping King reveal the divine helplessness.
a. The King was omnipotent in creation.
b. The King is omnipotent in keeping the machinery of the universe in perfect coordination.
c. The King has no supremacy in human hearts until he is invited to come in and take the place of authority.
It is easy for us to be critical of those who rejected the claims of the King during his earthly ministry.
I. Before we condemn them, however, we need to inquire as to whether we have rejected or ignored the claims of him who conquered death and the grave and who will someday come back as the King of Glory.
II. When we look at the world and see how few have even heard the good news of Christ, we must admit that we have either rejected or ignored the King’s command to carry the good news to the ends of the earth.
a. As Jesus’ disciples, we need to recognize that we have robbed ourselves of the promise of his companionship when we have neglected to recognize his authoritative command to evangelize the world (Matt. 28: 19– 20).
III. Jesus was born to be our King.
a. We need to make him the Lord of our lives.
b. We need to let him be the Lord of love in our homes.
c. We need to let him be Lord in our vocations.
d. We need to let him be Lord in our decision-making processes.
IV. Jesus would have us do the will of God in the present even as it is done by the angels in heaven.
Let us crown him King in our hearts today.
Crabtree, T. T.. The Zondervan 2024 Pastor's Annual (p. 101). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Annual (p. 98). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Wikipedia contributors. (2024, March 12). Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:27, March 23, 2024, from
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