And when he drew near and saw the city [Jerusalem], he wept over it (Luke 19:41).
Jesus was the perfect man, and he cried. Actually, the word here means “to sob deeply, affectingly.” We see little in Scripture mentioning his tears, but it’s there. The plight of mankind being what it is—blind and hard-hearted, it’s no wonder that he wept. He wept at the grave of Lazarus, not because his friend had died, but because the people still didn’t get it—that he was indeed the Savior of men come to release men from sin’s awful grip. But they didn’t get it. What’s worse is most people still don’t. The way is broad that leads to destruction and MANY enter there! (Mt. 7:13) Should this not cause even the lukewarm Christian to shudder and the tender heart to weep! “Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow” (Lamentations 1:12). This plaint of Jeremiah’s could easily be applied to our Lord and ten times over! You cannot match the depth of Jesus’ heart, so too you cannot top his threshold for sorrow.
Jesus knew the history of this great city. It’s highest purpose was to promote the exclusive worship of the one true God. And though judgment had to come, his heart broke still over the devastation yet to come from Rome. So, as Jesus draws near to that ancient city, all the plans for it, for the world flood over him. They didn’t get it. Very few ever really do. Is it any wonder that Jesus lamented all that Jerusalem missed? You offer infinite hope to sinful mankind and instead of clamoring after it, they despise it, and go whoring after other gods! It’s enough to make a true man cry. It’s should make a godly person cry! “Ah, would that you had known . . .” (Luke 19:42). It’s as if Jesus were crying, “I wish you could see what you’ve missed. I wish you knew the beauty and wonder over which you stumble. But you cannot. You will not!”
Do You Weep Like Jesus?
In his classic on the Sermon on the Mount, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes how the godly do indeed weep, or mourn over sin, starting with themselves:
As I confront God and his holiness, and contemplate the life that I am meant to live, I see myself, my utter helplessness and hopelessness. I discover my quality of spirit and immediately that makes me mourn. I must mourn about the fact that I am like that. But obviously it does not stop there. A man who truly faces himself, and examines himself and his life, is a man who must of necessity mourn for his sins also, for the things he does. . . . Any man who is at all a Christian is smitten with a sense of grief and sorrow that he was ever capable of such things in action or in thought, and that makes him mourn.
When our own sin causes us to mourn, then we are in a better position to weep over the sins of the world about us. Oh, that we who enjoy the pleasure of God on us, will weep in sympathetic vibration with the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.