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§ 244. Sadness of Christ at Sight of Jerusalem. (Luke, xix., 41-44.)

With what sorrow must that heart, so full of love, so overflowing with pity for then misery of men, have been wrung as he approached for the last time the City whose people he had so often summoned in vain to repent, the metropolis of the earthly Theocracy—soon to be left to deserved destruction, from which he could not save it, because His voice was not listened to! With tears he cried, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” And then he uttered prophecy (v. 43, 44) which the destruction of Jerusalem afterward abundantly verified.

Although Christ, doubtless, went immediately on his entry to the 357Temple to thank God, it does not follow that we must place here the expulsion of the buyers and sellers.657657   According to Matt., xxi., 15, 16, the displeasure of the priests was kindled when the children cried “Hosanna!” in the Temple. Jesus said to them, “Have ye never read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained praise?” (Ps. viii., 3). This incident might be confounded with the one before quoted from Luke; but it has features essentially different. The haughty scribes are here offended because children rejoice, and Christ replies, in effect, “The glory of God is revealed to children, while the chiefs of the hierarchy, in the pride of their imagined wisdom, receive no impressions into their cold and unsusceptible hearts.”

During the few remaining days of his ministry on earth, he made use of the favourable temper of the people to impress their minds with his teaching. In the mornings he taught in the Temple; the rest of the day was given to the disciples, with whom, in the evening, he was wont to retire to Bethany.


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