As soon as he was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.
“For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:39-44)

The Pharisees were like the grumpy neighbor who always complains that the music is too loud. They did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah and they were upset that Jesus was allowing his followers to proclaim that he was.

The Pharisees feared that Jesus was leading the people of Israel astray, filling them with false hope, and starting a rebellion that would bring the Romans to destroy the Jewish people. But within forty years, the Pharisees and other religious leaders would lead that very rebellion themselves, all because they failed to recognize when God had actually come to live with them. They refused to see that the kingdom of God had actually arrived. The Pharisees were looking for God and the kingdom in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways. If they had known, if they had only accepted God’s kingdom, they would not have kept striving for a physical, earthly kingdom that would lead to their city’s destruction not many years later. For that reason, Jesus wept over Jerusalem.

God wants to bless us. In fact he has blessed us. But it is so easy, like the Pharisees, to become so absorbed by our own expectations and desires, that we miss it completely. We’re like a child in Disneyland so distracted by not getting the cotton candy we want, that we forget where we are.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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