The Gospel of Luke: a commentary & meditation 
"You did not know the time of your visitation"

Scripture:  Luke 19:41-44

41 And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, 42 saying, "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.  43 For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, 44 and dash you 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."

Meditation: Do you know what makes for peace— the peace which produces lasting joy, security, and friendship with God? Jesus' earthly ministry centers and culminates in Jerusalem, the holy city, dwelling and throne of God (Jeremiah 3:17ff.); the place which God chose for his name to dwell there (1Kings 11:13); and the holy mountain upon which God has set his king (Psalm 2).  Jerusalem derives its name from the word "salem" which mean "peace".  The temple in Jerusalem was a constant reminder to the people of God's presence with them. Why does Jesus weep and lament for this city?  God had sent them the prophets and now his only begotten Son.  They did not understand God's word of judgment because of pride and unbelief.   Its inhabitants did not recognize God's visitation in his Son Jesus.  Jesus' entrance was a gracious visitation. Jerusalem's lack of faith, however, leads to its destruction.  Jesus' lamentation and prophecy echoes Jeremiah's of the first destruction of Jerusalem and its first temple. Jeremiah's lamentation offered hope of deliverance and restoration: But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:21-22).  Jesus' death and resurrection would bring about a new temple in the Holy Spirit, the church as the bride of Christ and the people of God.  Do you recognize God's visitation today?

When God visits his people he brings justice and peace. God actively work among his people both to judge and change us and to save us from destruction, if we heed his warning and respond to his grace with faith and contrition.  Are God's judgments unjust or unloving?  When God's judgments are revealed in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9).  To pronounce judgment on sin is much less harsh than what will happen if those who sin are not warned to repent.  The Lord is his mercy gives us grace and time to turn away from sin, but that time is right now.  If we delay, even for a moment, we may discover that grace has passed us by and our time is up. Do you accept the grace to turn away from sin and to walk in God's way of peace and holiness?

"Lord, you have visited and redeemed your people.   May I not miss the grace of your visitation today as you move to bring your people into greater righteousness and holiness of life. Purify my heart and mind that I may I understand your ways better and conform my life more fully to your will."

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 (c)1999, 2000 Don Schwager