Day 41

Daughters of Jerusalem

from the Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross reading plan


Luke 23:27-31, Psalm 56:8, Hosea 10:1-8

BY Amanda Bible Williams

Text: Luke 23:27-31, Psalm 56:8, Hosea 10:1-8

I’d like to nominate elevators as one of the most awkward spaces on the planet. You can go through most days refusing to acknowledge other people exist if you want to, but step onto an occupied elevator and you’re stuck. You know the other person is there. They know you know they’re there. You know they know you know they’re there. So you have 3 choices: stare straight ahead (awkward), stare at your phone (still pretty awkward), or look at the person (super awkward).

Most of us choose Option A.

Jesus could have easily gotten away with ignoring the women crying out to Him as He walked along the dusty road, beaten and nearly naked, making the painful journey to an awful death. Yet even more remarkable than the fact that He brought His eyes up met theirs, or that He spoke to them in the midst of His suffering, is what He chose to say:

Turning to them, Jesus said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and your children.” (Luke 23:28, HCSB)

Jesus shifts the object of the their sympathy and mourning from Him back to themselves.

Why does He do this? Who are these women to whom the suffering Christ delivers a gentle but stern warning in the most striking of circumstances?

The women are noted to be citizens of Jerusalem, a center of religion that fervently rejected Jesus of Nazareth. We aren’t told exactly why they are following Jesus in a situation when many of His own have turned away. Perhaps they recognized glimpses of the divine in His words and actions and were following as unofficial disciples. Or maybe, and probably most likely, they were simply “good” religious folks who pitied Jesus and lamented the extreme cruelty being shown an innocent man.

More important than the motive behind their mourning are these three simple-yet-profound facts about their brief encounter with Christ:

He sees their tears. Jesus looks up from His own pain to acknowledge theirs. Yes, He was the divine Son of God suffering for the sin of humankind, and yes, they were members of that sinful race. Nevertheless, Jesus sees their tears, just like He sees mine and yours (Psalm 56:8).

He acknowledges their sorrow but redirects it to the proper place. Jesus quotes the words of the prophet Hosea when He describes the enormity of the sorrow to come for those who reject Him. In Hosea chapter 10, the people of God respond to fruitfulness and blessing not by turning toward God but turning toward themselves and their false gods. The consequences of this separation from God are severe—so severe that the people cry out for death to swallow them in their misery.

Jesus’ warning to the women on the Via Dolorosa that day was not an empty threat; it was the compassionate prophesy of a loving Savior who knows the natural way of a soul separated from the Father. I like commentator Matthew Henry’s explanation of Christ’s response when he says, “Let us weep, not for him (Jesus), but for our own sins, and the sins of our children, that were the cause of his death; and weep for fear (such were the tears here prescribed) of the miseries we shall bring upon ourselves, if we slight his love, and reject his grace.”

But Jesus does not leave the daughters of Jerusalem with a look and a warning that day. Which brings us to glorious #3—

He answers their grief with the ultimate display of love. The God who sees our every tear, who knows every hope and pain from whence they come, is the God who walked bruised and bleeding up the hill of obedience, called Calvary, and gave His very life to purchase our pardon. As NT Wright puts it, “The cross is the place where, and the means by which, God loved us to the uttermost.”

The God who views our tears as so precious that He keeps record of them in His book is the same God who says, “Don’t weep for me. Weep for yourselves.” For we are the sinful ones, Sisters, and He is all-holy. But through Christ’s work on the Cross, we are hidden in Him and brought eternally and indelibly near to God (Colossians 3:3). Thanks be to God!

 

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Post Comments (87)

87 thoughts on "Daughters of Jerusalem"

  1. Kasey Tuggle says:

    Jesus went through so much for us! His love for us is so so so great! He is full of love and kindness to show us! To live is Christ and to die truly is gain! Christ is so much better than the ways of this world! Jesus alone satisfies!

  2. Hayley says:

    I found that passage of scripture very hard to digest…
    28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
    As a woman who has struggled with infertility it’s very difficult to understand the “blessing” in that, especially when the bible constantly points to children as a blessing and urges us to be fruitful and multiply. Can anyone help explain what Jesus may have been trying to say?

    1. A.S.H. }i{ says:

      I found this great resource Hayley.

      Jesus is referring to churches & people in the church.

      http://justifiedbychristalone.com/2009/01/25/a-study-of-luke-chapter-23-verses-28-to-31/

      I too find many scriptures hard to swallow, understand and take literally as well.

      I have been praying for God to give me knowledge and understanding – As I have been called to women’s ministry this past year.

      I am constantly reading His word and searching for deeper understanding. Jesus spoke in parables and many times I re-read over & over – if I can’t put pieces together I search my resources. I have a few I cross reference and find the one that speaks my language and breaks it down verse by verse.

      I hope this helps you today.

    2. A.S.H. }i{ says:

      My sweet sister, Hayley – I also want you to know you are truly blessed! God has great things planned for us all in His way & His time.

      Please read with sincerity in my heart & hugs:

      Women without children from their womb ARE blessed and can LOVE children & women GOD places in their life for His purpose and gives them gifts of children to rear as their own, either in our homes, church or out in the world.

      You are gifted my sister – your yearning is truly a gift and God is blessing you.

      See inside your heart full of Love, He is with you every step of the way, God plan is glorious.

    3. Brooke says:

      Hi Hayley, it is my understanding that Hosea and Jesus are prophesying about the destruction of the temple (both figuratively being Jesus’ body, but specifically what would come in 70 AD as the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed). During this time, the people of Israel were starved as resources were completely shut off and the city was pillaged and many were murdered. Those that remained were taken captive. Jesus is heartbroken for his sons and daughters and knows that in a few short years, they will endure extreme suffering. It is recorded (historically) that some women became so starved/deranged during the siege that they are their own children…..a hard thought to comprehend, but I believe Jesus is referring to this. I hope that helps!!

      1. Brooke says:

        Ate* their own children (sorry about the autocorrect!)

      2. A.S.H. }i{ says:

        I was being quite vague in saying churches & people in churches. Sorry.

        Yes, I believe it referring to destruction, for Jesus made his warnings clear of the wrong being done & that no stone be unturned.

        In references upon references to read of daughter of Zion & daughter of Jerusalem being the church that was where the meaning can be “The temple” being the (churches) of false teachings and children (people/nations in the churches under the false teaching) under destruction /calamity to come.

        As I was digging yesterday I came by both. What I found & Brooke’s

        Jesus stopping and weeping for Jerusalem. Luke 19:41-44

        Hosea clearly saying their hearts are false, w/empty oaths make covenants – The Lord will break down their altars & destroy pillars.

        Micah 3:10-12 destruction as well

        I see a slight error could by a simple letter can change meanings and those interpreting:
        daughter of Jerusalem vs. daughter(s) of Jerusalem

        The (s) very well could have been to the literal women & children vs. city/church & people in city/church.

        Quite confusing to say the least. I apologize of I confused anyone and in my own way see the meaning as both.

        Knowing Jesus weeped for Jerusalem as

        When cross referencing verse by verse interpretations vary.

        1. A.S.H. }i{ says:

          The varying of cross reference I saw was the big picture of destruction, the church refusing Jesus, false teachings and what God will do because of this.

          In conclusion I see both as important to know and understand. Because I had been reading Matthew & Mark recently I focused on churches & people in churches as a whole.

          Not what Haley was confused about it being related to her and not able to carry child yet.

          Love you all, keep learning & reading HIS WORD going back to understand in sight of confusion.

          I was worried I had done wrong by you all, but know I didn’t share enough. Lesson learned.

    4. A.S.H. }i{ says:

      I was being quite vague in saying churches & people in churches. Sorry.

      Yes, I believe it referring to destruction, for Jesus made his warnings clear of the wrong being done & that no stone be unturned.

      In references upon references to read of daughter of Zion & daughter of Jerusalem being the church that was where the meaning can be “The temple” being the (churches) of false teachings and children (people/nations in the churches under the false teaching) under destruction /calamity to come.

      As I was digging yesterday I came by both. What I found & Brooke’s

      Jesus stopping and weeping for Jerusalem. Luke 19:41-44

      Hosea clearly saying their hearts are false, w/empty oaths make covenants – The Lord will break down their altars & destroy pillars.

      Micah 3:10-12 destruction as well

      I see a slight error could by a simple letter can change meanings and those interpreting:
      daughter of Jerusalem vs. daughter(s) of Jerusalem

      The (s) very well could have been to the literal women & children vs. city/church & people in city/church.

      Quite confusing to say the least. I apologize if I confused anyone and in my own way see the meaning as both.

      Knowing Jesus wept for Jerusalem in the beginning as he approached.

      When cross referencing verse by verse I found interpretations vary slightly.

      From the varying of cross reference what I saw was the big picture of destruction;
      the church refusing Jesus, false teachings and what God will do because of this.

      In conclusion I see both as important to know and understand. Because I had been reading Matthew & Mark recently I focused on churches & people in churches as a whole.

      Which is Not what Haley was confused about it being related to her and not able to carry child yet.

      Love you all, keep learning & reading HIS WORD going back to understand in sight of confusion.

      I was worried I had done wrong by you all, but know I didn’t share enough. Lesson learned.

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