Luke 13:31-35: Jesus Laments Over Jerusalem

One of the things that has always set Christianity apart is the fact that it calls us to love our enemies. Over and over again we have models in scripture of those who had a deep concern and compassion towards the undeserving and who prayed for them. Think of Abraham praying for Sodom and Gomorrah, think of Moses praying that God would not forsake a sinful Israel after she had worshipped the golden calf. Think of Jeremiah the weeping prophet who wept as Jerusalem was to be handed over to Babylon for judgement. But none of these can compare to the love of Christ and His compassion towards the unworthy. This compassion is seen in many ways but one of the times we see it most clearly is when Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. Twice Christ laments over Jerusalem, here in Luke 13:31-35; and again in His final week before He dies, Matt. 23:37-39.

Israel is facing judgement; Christ is the Messiah and her final prophet who has come to bring the hardest word that Israel has ever heard. The end of an era is upon them, a reckoning for sin has come. Christ who has come to be the Saviour of His people must be the one to pronounce their judgement. Jesus has set His face towards Jerusalem, 13:22, this results in some Pharisees warning Him about Herod’s intentions, 13:31. But Christ will not be deterred He has a work to do. So as we move through 13:31-35 we want to explore it under two headings, Christ’s attitude towards death threats; and Christ’s attitude towards stubborn sinners.