And when He (Jesus) drew near and saw the city, He wept over it. – Luke 19:41
For all but three years of my parish ministry I had a parochial school. That means I had a quarter-century of opening-day emotions. On that day I often tried to get down to the kindergarten to help with the tears, the sobs, the feeling of loneliness and lostness … and that was from the moms.
Sometimes I was even asked to help with the children who were upset. Most of the time our teachers took care of things. They would take a child to the side, give a hug, and talk quietly and patiently with the distraught little one. It was amazing to see the miraculous transformation those teachers could bring about.
Apparently a kindergarten in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has a different technique. There a kindergartner, Bronson Clark, was upset about having to leave mom. He was so upset he did some serious crying. For that grave infraction of the rules the little one was given an out-of-school suspension. You see this particular kindergarten has a zero-tolerance policy in regard to children disturbing a class — and a lonely child’s tears are a disturbance.
It is my hope that you and all those you know do not have a similar policy in regard to Jesus and the tears He shed.
If you look at the Savior’s life, you will find a number of times He cried. Jesus cried at the tomb of His dead friend, Lazarus; He cried for the city of Jerusalem, which He knew, in a few short years, would be destroyed; He cried out from the cross as He allowed Himself to be sacrificed for our forgiveness and salvation.
Did you ever think there is a pattern there? Look carefully and you will see Jesus always cried and cried out for others … not for Himself. Yes, in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed, if it were possible, that the cup of suffering might be removed from Him, but even there Jesus put us first.
The depth of Jesus’ concern for the world’s sinners is something beyond my understanding. If I had been in the Savior’s place and looking at Jerusalem in the distance, I would not have been brought to tears by her upcoming destruction. On the contrary, I probably would have murmured something like: “Reject me, will you? Jerusalem, you’re looking at some nasty times ahead. You can count on them. After all you have rejected me, haven’t you?”
This is just one of the many reasons why Jesus is the Savior and I am the person being saved; it’s the reason I’m the sinner being rescued and He’s God’s Son who is doing the rescuing.
And that’s why, as a forgiven and redeemed sinner, I’m going to try to live in a way that will make the Savior smile and not cry.
The Prayer : Lord, I give thanks that Jesus cared so much for sinners. Now, as a redeemed member of the family of faith, may I live in a way that shows my appreciation. In His Name. Amen.
– – – written by Pastor Ken Klaus, Lutheran Hour Ministries