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The Scriptorium

The Heart of Jesus

It can be our heart, too. Luke 19.41-48

Luke 19 (6)

Pray Psalm 115.1-3.
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.

Sing Psalm 115.1-3.
(Plainfield: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus)
Not to us, O God, not us, but unto Your Name give glory!
For Your love and faithfulness, ever to Your Name be glory!
Why should the nations cry, “Where is their God on high?”
You rule us, Lord, on high: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Read Luke 19.1-48; meditate on verses 41-48.


1. Why did Jesus weep?

2. Why did Jesus drive people out of the temple?

Here we see the heart of Jesus toward the persistent sins of people. In the first place, he wept because the people of Israel refused to heed His Word (v. 41). They did not know “the things that make for your peace” because they did not believe the prophets and they did not listen to Him. When they did listen, it was only to discover what they might get out of it, not to honor Him or His Word.

The result of their not listening was that God hid His truth from their eyes. Having rejected the safety and eternal security of God’s grace, they would receive the judgment they chose, beginning with Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (vv. 42-44) as a foretaste of “the time of your visitation” yet to come (v. 44).

But though the foolish choices people make grieve Jesus, they also anger Him to the point of wrath. We see this in the violent way He tossed out of the temple “those who bought and sold in it” (v. 45). The Lord’s house is not intended to be a place of commerce but of prayer (v. 46). Jesus does not look favorably on those who use His house for their own aggrandizement.

Nevertheless, despite their hardness of heart and self-seeking ways, Jesus continued to reach out to the people of His day, “teaching daily in the temple” (v. 47). So it is today. Though, increasingly, the world seems to want nothing to do with Jesus, Jesus continues to do good to them (Matt. 5.45-48) and to reach out to them with His Word in the Gospel. He does this through us. We are the agents of Jesus’ grace to the world. We must not neglect to hear His Word, and we must be always diligent in the work of prayer. Thus we will be ready for every good work and able to give a reason for the hope that is within us when people ask (Tit. 3.1, 8, 14; 1 Pet. 3.15).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Ezra’s job was to expedite the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, long before the time Jesus was lamenting the state of the religious in Jerusalem. And it just so happened, Jesus was having the same problems with the usual suspects that Ezra had.

When things were just about to get ramped up on the rebuilding, the leaders came to Ezra and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, with respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites…Indeed, the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass” (Ezra 9.1, 2) Indeed. Foremost. Shocker.

The leadership of the people of Israel had not learned to watch their deviations. And still, all those years later, it was the leadership of the religious who were trying to ruin Jesus. “But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him” (Lk. 19.47).

God help us! Is it the same today? “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Pet. 2.9, 10). But do we proclaim Him? Are we royal and special? Do we walk in the light and not in darkness? Have we experienced the mercy of God so much so that we only long to live for Him?

Already in the new church Peter was warning believers: “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2.11, 12).

Pat Hunter, our beloved Bible study teacher, would point her finger upward, with only a miniscule tilt, noting as she did, that the target would be missed, by a slight deviation in trajectory. So go our lives.

We want, more than anything, to hear “Well done” from Jesus (Lk. 19.17); so, it behooves us as sojourners of faith, to be pointed directly at the target of pleasing God, and not ever being “foremost” in any “trespass”. For we do not want Jesus to ever “weep” (Lk. 19.41) over our disbelief or disobedience.

Set your heart on following Jesus, forever, to the very end (Ps. 119.112), and you will not deviate from Him.

For reflection
1. How would you counsel a new believer to be careful about deviating from the path Jesus has marked out for us?

2. Would you say that you have the “heart of Jesus”? Explain.

3. How can believers help one another to avoid making foolish choices?

But let everyone remember, that though Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he executed awful vengeance upon it. Though he delights not in the death of a sinner, yet he will surely bring to pass his awful threatenings on those who neglect his salvation.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 19.41-48

Pray Psalm 115.9-18.
Ask the Lord to increase His grace to you so that you might increase His work of grace through you. Pray for the people in your Personal Mission Field, especially those you will see today.

Sing Psalm 115.9-18.
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus)
All who trust in Jesus yield – ever to His Name be glory –
find in Him their help and shield – ever to Your Name be glory!
O Israel, trust the Lord!  He helps us evermore!
Fear Him obey His Word: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Blessings from our gracious Lord – ever to Your Name be glory –
will attend us evermore – ever to Your Name be glory!
Bless all who fear You, Lord, all who obey Your Word,
all who Your Name adore: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Grant us, Savior, great increase – ever to Your Name be glory!
Bless us with eternal peace – ever to Your Name be glory!
Heaven and earth are Yours; let every soul adore
and bless You evermore: Ever to Your Name be glory!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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