Formations lesson for July 5- Jerusalem- A City in Need of Peace
June 22 2009 by John Carpenter, Pastor, Covenant Reformed Baptist Church, Yanceyville

Focal Passage: Luke 19:41-48

Cities, like individuals, have personalities — and needs. Here it is for Jerusalem that the Lord Jesus pines, that they would know “the things that make for peace.”

“This day,” the Lord Jesus speaks of is the day He arrives at the city, beginning the chain of events which would lead that city to crucify Him. It was, “the time of your visitation.”

Sometimes God comes to us, as individuals or corporate bodies (like cities, nations, or churches), with an offer of peace.

What makes for peace is Himself, if that proud city would only accept Him. They’ve just received Him happily; celebrating His arrival.

But they’re only interested in a triumphant king to conquer their enemies, the Romans, not the sacrificial King come to conquer their hearts. Jesus says “They” (the secrets of peace) “are hidden from your eyes.”

Yes, they are responsible for not accepting Him. But here Jesus points to the ultimate source of their inability to see: God’s purpose in election. God’s peace comes from God’s grace and is withheld from those He does not enable to see (c.f. Mt. 13:13-16; Romans 11:8).

Because they wouldn’t have peace, they would know war.

In verses 43-44, the Lord Jesus foretells the First Jewish-Roman war of AD 66-73, within a generation of Him.

We don’t need to look into our future for the fulfillment.

They’ve already come to pass when the Roman general Titus, a future Caesar, besieged Jerusalem, destroying the city and the temple in it, killing thousands.

Titus reportedly refused to accept a victory wreath, as there is “no merit in vanquishing people forsaken by their own God.”

The price for refusing to receive Jesus as Lord is high.

Then Jesus cleans the merchants out of the temple. The powers that be — “the chief priests and the scribes and the principal men,” what we would call the religious people and the “good ol’ boys” — don’t like that one bit.

They’re not looking for a Lord of any kind.

They’re just looking for business as usual. So they’ll bide their time, looking to destroy Jesus not knowing they are sealing their own destruction.

Today individuals, cities, and even churches have opportunities — times of visitation, when they must repent, change, turn from business as usual to the Lord.

Tradition-bound religious folk and the good ol’ boys will try to protect the status quo. But you must know the Lord who makes for peace and let Him cleanse the “temples” of our hearts or churches. Or pay the price.

6/22/2009 3:38:00 AM by John Carpenter, Pastor, Covenant Reformed Baptist Church, Yanceyville | with 0 comments

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