Jesus weeps over Jerusalem
The Lord Jesus Christ went to many cities in His time on earth. Not undermining the rural areas where Jesus ministered, the concentration of His efforts was also directed towards urban areas, with teeming human population. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a small city. In Bethlehem the Messiah was refused a place. In the same way, today, cities are refusing a place for the Saviour. Though he was born there he grew up in Nazareth. He went around preaching in cities and towns (Luke 8:1). The crowds of people came to listen to him from every town. (Luke 8:4) Jesus chose disciples and sent them to every town. (Luke 10:1) He died in the outskirts of the city of Jerusalem, the Holy City of the Jews. Jesus demonstrated both love and judgment toward the city.
Jesus once during his ministry stopped and wept over the city of Jerusalem. (Luke 19:41) Today, like Jesus we have to look at the cities with compassion, weep and pray. The Lord wanted to embrace the citizens of Jerusalem, but they were not willing. They were rebellious, stubborn and hard hearted. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37) Like Jerusalem, secular cities are harassing, depriving, hating and boycotting evangelists today. Messengers of the gospel are not welcome in modern and postmodern cities.
Jesus spoke to the women of Jerusalem: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” (Luke 23:28) The cities we live in are similar to that of Jerusalem. The citizens are in great danger of God’s judgment. Cities like Chorazin, Bethesda and Capernaum did not repent even after seeing mighty deeds done by the Son of God. (Matthew 11:21-24) God is going to judge the cities. The Church could stand in the gap and intercede for the cities and also proclaim the gospel so that they repent.
If a wicked city like Nineveh with a population of 120,000 could repent through the prophetic ministry of Jonah, modern cities can also repent. In fact, Nineveh repented in spite of the reluctant prophet and an inadequate message of love. We have to pray that prophetic leaders like Jonah may rise up to transform cities around the world.
God is calling His church to weep and intercede for cities as Jesus did for unrepentant, hardened, violent, ruthless people who refuse to give place to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Written by J N Manokaran for Movement Day Chennai