When the city came into view, he wept over it. "If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it's too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They'll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn't recognize and welcome God's personal visit."
Going into the Temple he began to throw out everyone who had set up shop, selling everything and anything. He said, "It's written in Scripture,
My house is a house of prayer;
You have turned it into a religious bazaar."
From then on he taught each day in the Temple. The high priests, religion scholars, and the leaders of the people were trying their best to find a way to get rid of him. But with the people hanging on every word he spoke, they couldn't come up with anything.
I knew that today’s passage would be the one about cleansing the Temple. I was all ready to go all in on all the stuff that I know about what was going on there. Truly, it was on my mind and I kind of couldn’t wait to write this morning about it.
But, then I read it fresh this morning.
Sometimes when I come to these well worn stories I have pre-determined in my mind what I’m going to write here and then the Spirit redirects my gaze.
The opening of this story grabbed my heart. Luke writes, “When the city came into view, he wept over it. "If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it's too late.”
This morning I experienced some disappointment from missed expectations. These missed expectations were not about something important, life-changing, or even really all that meaningful. I could feel myself begin to spin out a little.
But, then I read this passage this morning.
It was a 2x4 to the soul.
I was about to let something small, insignificant, and of no real value rob me of “this day, and everything that was good for” me. The Spirit re-oriented immediately.
It’s funny, yesterday I wrote and there was nothing remotely application oriented about it. Today, I’m writing it’s all application.
Jesus wept over the city because they didn’t recognize the day of his visit. They could have experienced all the good. But they weren’t paying attention or they were paying attention to the wrong things. So much so that they didn’t notice all the beauty and the good in their midst.
How often do we miss things the same way? How many days have we “not recognized” and missed “all the good”?
For me, it’s way too often. Too often I get sideways about the insignificant and the petty. Whether it’s unkind people or frustrating situations, I fix my attention there instead of all the good in front of me.
I don’t recognize the day.
Well, today, I’m choosing to recognize the day. I want to see all the good. Whose with me?