The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

On the Gospel Lessons of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia

Text from Luke 19:41-47

Trinity X

1. This text divides itself into three paragraphs: Vss. 41-44, the prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem; 45-46, the second cleansing of the Temple; and 47-48, the attitudes of Jesus' friends and enemies during the last week of His life.

2. All four Evangelists describe Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. But only Lk. gives us the information found in vss. 41-44. Many years ago a church was built on the Mt. of Olives to commemorate our text. It is called Dominus Flevit, the Latin for "Jesus wept."

3. Vss. 41-44 are not to be confused with Lk. 13:34-35 which took place during Jesus' Perean Ministry nor with Mt. 23:37-39 which came later during Holy Week. The three incidents of Jesus' grief vividly show that the coming destruction of Jerusalem weighed heavily on Jesus.

4. Vss. 41-44 clearly depict Jesus as human and divine. His weeping shows His humanity. His exact knowledge of the future proves His divinity.

5. Is. 29:1-4, written about 800 B.C., already foretold the final destruction of Jerusalem. It happened in 70 A.D. Josephus, the Jewish historian, describes it in his The Wars, books IV-VI. We summarize what he wrote: The Jews always proved to be the Most rebellious people in the Roman Empire. During the days of the apostles they were warned never again to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem or to fortify their city. But during the 60's of the first century, while Rome experienced internal troubles, the Jews rebuilt their walls and fortified the city. In the year 66 the Emperor Nero sent Gessius Florus and his legions to subdue the city. The Jews killed him and 5000 of his men. This angered Rome very much. They sent Flavius Vespasianus with his legions to deal with the city. Vespasian and his troops moved on to Jerusalem. But Vespasian was recalled to Rome because he was elected Emperor. Titus, his son, took over as commander of Vespasian's men. At the time of the Passover in the year 70 about 1,000,000 Jews gathered in Jerusalem. During the next five months Jerusalem was totally overcome and destroyed. They destroyed themselves. There were three parties in the city who were jealous of each other and did not trust each other. They destroyed each others' food supplies and homes. Thus the Jews were their own worst enemies. Jerusalem was circled by three strong walls. With great effort and at great expense the Romans conquered wall after wall. Then they went after the Temple. It was burned to the ground August 10, 70 A.D. Then 900,000 Jews were killed, starved or sold as slaves. Only about 100,000 survived. So desperate did they become that they killed and ate their own babies. Others ate their own excrement or cow dung. Some were found dead with hay in their mouths. After the city was conquered a soldier detected a Jew extracting gold coins from his own excrement. This gave birth to the rumor that the starving Jews had swallowed their gold. Thousands of Jews were cut open alive for the gold. Thus the most beautiful city of the east was destroyed just as our Lord had repeatedly foretold it. He Himself wept over the city because of its unbelief and rejection of God, His Son and the Covenant. The destruction of Jerusalem is the severest of judgments of God upon man. We should heed Jesus' warning. It could happen to us too.

6. Vs. 42 is an exclamation of grief: "If only you had recognized at this time the things of peace!!!" They had killed the prophets. They had rejected the Messiah. They despised the way of salvation. Jesus adds, "But as it is (the things of peace) are hidden from your eyes." The Jews had blinded themselves. See Jn. 9:39-41. And we know that the natural man cannot perceive the things of the Spirit of God. They are foolishness to him. I Cor. 2:14. Unbelief leaves a person in utter darkness. Is. 1:3 says that Israel had become more stupid than the ox who knows his master and the donkey which knows where its feed comes from. Jn. 1:11 tells us: "He came to His own (people) but His own did not receive Him." He was despised and rejected by His own.

7. Now we move on to vs. 43 of our text. Jesus is foretelling what the historian Josephus recorded forty years later. The Romans are called "your enemies". That was a judgment of God. The Jews and the Romans hated each other intensely. The Romans built a palisade around the city so that the Jews could not escape. The Jews burned it down. The Romans rebuilt it of stone so that no one could escape.

8. Vs. 44 foretells the total destruction of the city. The Romans left a few towers standing so that people would know where the city had been. Why would this happen? Jesus says: "Because you did not recognize the opportunity of your visitation." By "visitation" He means the preaching of the Gospel to the Jews since the days of Abraham, 2000 B.C. Again and again God had sent prophets with the Word but the Jews rejected it just as they rejected the Son of God.

9. Vss. 45-46 tell us about the cleansing of the Temple during Holy Week, the second cleansing. This is described also at Mt. 21:12.13 and Mk. 11:15- 18, the parallel accounts. But this is not the same incident as Jn. 2:13-16 which happened two years earlier at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. Jesus speaks a combination of Is. 56:7 and Jer. 7:11. Already in the days of the prophets Israel had misused the Temple which was built to be a place of forgiveness of sins and worship. Turning a place of worship into a hideout for robbers shows us how far Israel had departed from the Lord. He visibly drove the merchants out of the Temple twice in His career. They resented this. At Lk. 20:2 they asked Him: "By what authority do you do this? Who gave you this authority?" Their questions imply that they did not receive Him as the very Son of God.

10. Vss. 47-48 are a summary of Jesus' teachings in Jerusalem during the last week of His earthly life. The Synoptic Gospels (Mt., Mk., Lk.) explain this in detail. They describe how Jesus boldly but simply testified to the Truth. But all of the Jewish authorities, both religious and secular, were trying to destroy Him. "The chief priests and scribes" in vs. 47 means the religious council, the Sanhedrin. Only Lk. uses the expression "and the chiefs of the people". That must mean the political authorities among the Jews.

11. But God did not permit the Jews to kill Jesus until his hour had come. Vs. 48 tells us that God used the people to protect Jesus. They were fascinated by His teaching. No one forced Jesus to die. Read Jn. 10:17-18. His Father willed that He lay down His life. No one took His life from Him. He laid it down of His own accord. And He took it again of His own accord. He even knew the plans of his enemies long before they made the plans. A year before it happened Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him, Jn. 6:7. In the Garden of Gethsemane He did not run from the enemy. He gave himself up.

12. This text warns us about the terrible danger of unbelief. The unbeliever finally destroys himself. In his madness he despises religion as did the Jews. And in his madness he proves himself to be a coward, not a courageous man. Lord I believe, help my unbelief!

13. Tuesday afternoon of Holy Week, Jesus and His disciples sat on the Mt. of Olives overlooking Jerusalem. There He foretold again the destruction of Jerusalem. See Mt. 24:15-22; Mk. 13:14-20; Lk. 21:20-24. Jesus called it history's most severe judgment. Mt. 24:21.

14. St. Paul also grieved over the apostasy of the Jews. See Rom. 9:1-5 and Rom. 10:1-3.

The Sermon Outline of Harold Buls

On the Gospel Lessons of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia

Text from Luke 19:41-47

Trinity X

THEME: He That Believeth Not Shall Be Damned


The attitudes and destruction of the Jews are a stern warning to us. Rom. 15:4 tells us: "Whatever things were written before were written for our learning." We should learn from what was written about the fate of the people under the first covenant.




Since Christ came and took sin away, sin no longer damns. But it is unbelief that damns. "He that believeth not shall be damned." Could it happen to us? It could. It comes to many people gradually, like a slow leak of a tire. It's usually not a blow-out, but a slow leak. Satan pulls people away from the Lord very gradually until it is too late. Let us examine ourselves.

This text was converted to ascii format for Project Wittenberg by Cindy A. Beesley and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther Library at Concordia Theological Seminary.

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