Calvary Road Baptist Church

“JESUS WEEPING FOR SINNERS”

Luke 19.41

 Please turn in your Bible to Luke 19.41. While you are turning in your Bible to that verse, there are some background facts that you should be made aware of. We find a record of the Lord Jesus Christ weeping three different times in God’s Word. Each of those incidents is significant in providing a glimpse into the nature and personality of the man who is shown to be the Savior of sinful men’s souls.

The first time we read of Jesus weeping is in John 11.35, mostly recognized as the shortest verse in the English Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ had been notified of Lazarus’ illness and was expected to quickly come minister to His friend. However, He delayed two days before setting out on His journey to return to the home of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha.[1] By the time He arrived, Lazarus was not only dead, but he had been four days in the grave.[2] Picture the scene. Mourners were all around. Martha met Him at the edge of town, before He arrived at their home, and was therefore the first to speak to Him. He in turn comforted her.[3] Then He told her to fetch her sister, Mary. When Mary came, she fell down at His feet and said the same thing to Him Martha had said, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”[4] “When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.”[5] Presumably, He followed them the short distance to the tomb of Lazarus. Then, “Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!”[6] This display of emotion, the Greek word dakruo meaning “burst into tears,” as effectively displays the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ as any other passage in God’s Word.[7] The Lord Jesus Christ is one of us in that He is a man, has all the feelings and sensitivities of a man, has all the concerns and loves of a man (but without sin), and finally wept as a man. Would it be so terrible to have this man for a Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord?

The third time Jesus wept was in the garden of Gethsemane, the night before His crucifixion. Read the gospels over and you get a very good idea of what transpired in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Lord’s Supper was instituted, after Judas Iscariot betrayed His master for thirty pieces of silver, and after Jesus and His remaining disciples walked past the Temple mount and crossed the book Kidron to His place of prayer. The one thing we do not explicitly find in the gospels, however, is a direct reference to our Lord weeping. Hebrews 5.7 reads, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.” It should not surprise us, in light of the fact that Jesus shed great drops of blood during His pleadings in the Garden of Gethsemane, at one point requiring the ministrations of an angel to prevent His complete physical collapse, that the word crying translates the Greek word krauge, that refers to a loud cry.[8],[9] Before studying for this message, I had always imagined the Lord Jesus Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, and at the most quietly sobbing while His sluggish disciples prayed for a few moment and then fell asleep. However, I now realize how dull they really were to be able to doze while the Lord Jesus Christ wailed at the prospect of becoming sin for us. It was not fear of death that He abhorred, but the prospect of taking on Himself our sins. Thus, this episode of Jesus crying reminds me of His holiness.

Our text for today, Luke 1941, is the record of the second time in the Bible that Jesus wept, and it was on the occasion of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Remember that He had given sight to the two blind men in Jericho, and then dined with the publican named Zacchaeus, on a Thursday, taking the next day, Friday, to travel to Bethany, the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, who He had raised from the dead. He must have spent the Sabbath at their home, as well. Picture the scene of the Savior’s triumphal entry. It was a Sunday. Only two days before, in Jericho, blind Bartimaeus and his friend had cried out startling words for all the religious pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem for Passover to hear. The words had been spoken before, when Jesus had healed one who was possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb.[10] A Canaanite woman had said it out loud before, when she addressed Jesus and pleaded with Him to cast a demon out of her daughter.[11] Never before had these words been shouted for all to hear, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.”[12]

Now, two days later, and after those traveling through Jericho had time to speak of what had happened to the other pilgrims in the city, Jesus electrifies the multitudes by approaching the city on the foal of an ass, a young donkey, fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah’s entrance into the city.[13] Suddenly, someone begins placing palm branches and clothes on the ground in front of His path as the donkey colt was led along. As He crested the south shoulder of the Mount of Olives, throngs of people, already excited about being in Jerusalem for the high holy days, anticipating that something would happen now that the man who had raised a dead man was rumored to be in the city, saw Jesus on the donkey colt and began to rejoice and cry out, “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The crowd surged, their cries and shouts intensified. It was such a rousing scene that “some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”[14] No wonder Bible teachers label this the Lord Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry.

When He came around the base of the Mount of Olives and saw the city spread out before Him, and this is where we look to our text for this morning, Luke 19.41: “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.” The word wept translates the Greek word klaio, meaning to lament with sobbing.[15] Think about it, my friends. At the moment of the greatest triumph of His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ broke down in tears and sobbed over Jerusalem. I want to rehearse to you in the next few minutes why Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem, and I want to rehearse to you why you, too, are wept over.

 First, JESUS WEPT BECAUSE HE KNEW WHY THOSE SINNERS WOULD PERISH

It was ignorance, willful ignorance. He said, in verse 42, “If thou hadst known.” The people of Jerusalem knew so much, but they did not know Jesus. Like so many who are so self-sufficient today, they did not know what they did not know. As well, the Lord Jesus knew that they would refuse to know, because “He knew what was in man.”

Sinners become complacent and think they are okay. Those people did not know they were lost. They did not know they were dead in trespasses and sins. They did not know they were helpless. They did not know they were hopeless. They did not know they were headed for a Devil’s Hell. They did not know that their only salvation was the Lord Jesus Christ. Because they did not know, and because they would not know, because they refused to know, Jesus wept for them. Is it needful that someone weep for you? Will you perish as they perished? Will you refuse to know Jesus as they refused to know Jesus?

 Next, HE WEPT AT THE THOUGHT OF WHAT THOSE SINNERS HAD LOST

 He said in the next verse, “the things which belong unto thy peace!” Remember that the word “salem” means “peace.” The word “Jerusalem” means “foundation of peace.”[16] Thus, the true “foundation of peace” is riding into the city named “foundation of peace,” knowing that they will reject Him. This city which had known so little peace, which had been destroyed by her enemies and which would be destroyed yet again by the Romans, was about to throw away her only hope of peace. Therefore, Jesus, the Prince of peace, wept for what they might have had, wept for what they would never know but what they might have had, had they only embraced instead of rejected this One now entering the city. He knew that in less than a week’s time, they would crucify Him, and He wept. Not for Himself, but for the sinners who refused Him.

Will you forfeit your opportunity for peace by rejecting the Savior? Will you refuse the Prince of peace? What a great sin it is to reject the Lord Jesus and turn your back on the gospel. Will you continue to commit that terrible sin?

 IN ADDITION TO WEEPING FOR WHAT WAS LOST, HE WEPT FOR WHO WAS LOST

 As His tear-filled eyes swept over the city before Him, the Lord Jesus Christ saw the city for what it was. A city? Yes. However, what is a city but people, individuals, men and women, boys and girls? In verse 44, He refers to the city, using the words “thee” and “thy children within thee.” The Lord Jesus Christ preached to the multitudes. He fed the multitudes. He ministered to the multitudes. However, He never lost sight of the fact that the multitudes are individual people, who have individual needs, and who need an individual Savior. He saw them as individuals, He loved them individually, and His heart was broken over their individual condemnation.

Likewise, Jesus looks down from heaven on you, an individual. You are not some mass of humanity to Him. He should not be some indistinct fuzzy something to you. As He looked upon them with a heart’s desire, so He looks upon you with a heart’s desire. Will you be wept for because you refuse to come to Jesus? On the other hand, will the Savior’s heart rejoice, as you believe in your heart unto righteousness?

 Fourth, HE WEPT OVER THEIR NEGLECTED OPPORTUNITY

 In Genesis 6.4, God said, “My spirit shall not always strive with man.” They had been warned by both Enoch and by Noah. Then the opportunity to respond to Noah’s preaching passed, and the Flood swept over them and they all died, except for Noah and his family. Neglected opportunity resulted in ruination for millions.

In Revelation 2.21, we read the Lord Jesus’ words about a woman in Thyatira: Jesus said, “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” In this case, neglected opportunity resulted in ruination for one. Though God deals with many, He always deals with the many by dealing with the one. God would deal with you.

In our text, as Jesus wept over those sinners, He knew that their opportunity to be saved would be neglected, as so many had neglected before and as so many would neglect afterwards the opportunity to be saved from their sins. What will you do with your opportunity to be saved from your sins? Tears are being shed for your sins. Will you come to Jesus so our tears can be turned to rejoicing? On the other hand, will you reject Him still?

 Fifth, THE SAVIOR WEPT OVER THEIR BLINDNESS

 Verse 42 ends, “but now they are hid from thine eyes.” They had refused to see, and they had refused to see, so God blinded them. That is what had happened before. Remember Pharaoh. He hardened his heart, then he hardened his heart, and then God hardened his heart.[17] God will have the last say in the matter. God will always have the last say. Will you refuse to see and then refuse to see? God will blind you so that you cannot see. Will you refuse to hear and then refuse to hear? God will make you deaf to the truth. Will you harden your heart and then harden your heart again? God will make your heart hard to the truth. Does a man not want to retain God in his knowledge? Will he suppress the truth of God and refuse to obey God? After a time God, will give him over to a reprobate mind, Romans 1.28. Jesus wept over their blindness, their blindness of refusal and their blindness of reprobation. Their opportunity was past, and they would be left as blind men groping to find their way and not finding it.

What about you? Jesus wept over their blindness. What had begun as the god of this world blinding the minds of them that believe not became a blindness of God’s judgment for their refusal to see what they could have seen. Thus, blinded now by God, there was no hope for them. Will that happen to you? Will you in your blindness refuse to see? Will you be brought to judgment so that you cannot see? Will you then be blind forever to the truth that you might have seen?

 Finally, MY LORD JESUS CRIED BECAUSE OF THEIR DESTINY

Oh, the tragedy. Oh, the heartache. Man, who had been created in God’s image and after God’s likeness for communion with God, is alienated from God by his sin. Now, these people, who had every advantage imaginable, but who knew not the time of their visitation, would be lost forever. Think of it. To them had been committed the oracles of God. To them had been made the covenants of promise. To them had been given the prophets. Through them God had sent His beloved Son. Yet because they rejected His Son they were also rejecting their God, and because they rejected God’s Son they would have no other means of being reconciled to God and having their sins forgiven. The result for them could only be Hell. That is why Jesus wept.

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. In addition, as Jesus wept for the people in Jerusalem, so He would weep for you. Why? Because you refuse Him. Because you reject Him. Because you will not come to Him.

My friends, you have seen the compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ, His great love for sinners, His broken heart for those who would not be saved, and why. I want to close this morning by showing you how you are like those sinners over whom Jesus wept, and for the same reason. As He rode over the shoulder of the Mount of Olives and looked out over the city, He knew the vast majority of those in the city would reject Him, just as most of those in this city will reject Him. They had opportunities, and you have opportunities. They preferred their sin.

Will you prefer your sin? Will you refuse to come to Christ? Will you miss your opportunity to be converted? Will you say, as Felix once said to the apostle Paul, “when I have a convenient season”?[18] What will become of you? I want to see you come to Christ. I want you to be converted. I want the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, His burial and resurrection three days later, and His ascension to the Father’s right hand on high where He has been these last 2000 years to be of benefit to you.

Does Jesus Christ care for you? He showed His concern with tears, and then showed His concern with the cross. Yes, He cares for you, and He offers Himself to you. Your sole obligation is to respond. Will you respond to His call?



[1] John 11.6

[2] John 11.17

[3] John 11.20-27

[4] John 11.32

[5] John 11.33-34

[6] John 11.35-36

[7] Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 211.

[8] Luke 22.43

[9] Bauer, pages 565-566

[10] Matthew 12.23

[11] Matthew 15.22

[12] Matthew 20.31

[13] Zechariah 9.9

[14] Luke 19.40

[15] Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 199.

[16] Francis Brown, S. R. Driver & Charles A. Briggs, The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew And English Lexicon, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1979), page 436.

[17] Exodus 10.1, 20, 27; 11.10; 14.8

[18] Acts 24.25



Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org