Jesus laments over Jerusalem

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Pergamum, Dec 5, 2014.

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  1. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I do not think we can draw, from Christ's humanity, a straight line to unfulfilled desire in God. To use this passage to develop an idea of "desire" in the Godhead blurs the Creator/creature distinction. I think those that jump here as "proof" that God desires certain things are ignoring the dual nature of Christ.

    I also think that it is appropriate that we desire all men that we meet to be saved. We plead with men to know Christ and don't make judgments concerning whether God has elected them. I think the "desire" is God's glory and the command to all men to repent. I don't think it's necessary to think of "all humanity" in the abstract and think: "I wish that God would save all men but that's not the way it's going to be." It is enough that, where God puts us, we strive with the men and women we encounter and plead with them to repent and believe. 2 Tim 2:24-25 is a useful passage that indicates compassion, concern, and patience toward men we meet. We don't exercise these things toward mankind in general but toward the men we meet.

    I think the mistake that some primitive Baptists make is blurring the Creator/creature distinction and seeking to live as if they know God's secret counsel concerning certain men simply because they know God's revealed will concerning election. It proves the point that the Confessions make that such things need to be handled with great care - something some fail to do.
  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    ok thanks. I am re-reading through this thread and thinking about it all.

    Right now I am also reading this book by John Piper: Does God Desire All to Be Saved? - Kindle edition by John Piper. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @

    I am struggling to see how appealing to Christ's human nature can be an aid here. It is not as if Christ's human nature is going to will things contrary to His divine nature. Though Jesus did tire and hunger and weep.

    To help me understand this better, I am reading these two books:

    Glimpses of the Inner Life of our Lord by William Blaikie.

    And also this:
    The Emotions of Jesus, by Robert Law.

    This has been a topic which I have wanted to study more deeply for some time.
  3. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    This was a very good discussion that I would suggest you to read when you read Pastor Piper's book. Especially post #33. :)
  4. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    WCF 3.7, "The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath, for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice."

    God desires the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, and He will do what He desires.
  5. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Thanks. Will do.
  6. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    What do you mean by "will things" contrary to His divine nature?

    What is contrary to the nature of God that a man, living by faith, has compassion and concern for his fellow man? Why must our concern for a fellow man mean that, the only way we can really have it as creatures, is for God to regard that man as beloved in the sense of being Elect?
  7. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't think He lacked anything in His humanity which He was intended to have, to carry out the task of being a prophet, priest and king for His people. But He was a man and had to live as a man with human finitude.

    He still has a human nature of course, but it is now glorified and exalted.

    The two natures of Christ are always part of the context in any part of the Gospels.
  8. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't think He lacked anything in His humanity which He was intended to have, to carry out the task of being a prophet, priest and king for His people. But He was a man and had to live as a man with human finitude.

    He still has a human nature of course, but it is now glorified and exalted.

    The two natures of Christ are always part of the context in any part of the Gospels.
  9. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    By the way, as an "error check", make sure you ask yourself: "Does my objection require that Jesus' human nature have divine knowledge for this objection to be valid?"

    Would this objection be true if I was the subject?

    Jesus accomplished His work by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was not a mixed nature where He freely tapped into a divine mind whenever He thought it convenient.
  10. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Yes, I agree that God has a general love towards humanity that isn't saving.

    But in Matthew 23:37 it is not clear that a general beneficence is sufficient. Jesus' desire to "gather" these people would be a gathering that was to their eternal good. It appears that Jesus desires to save in Matthew 23:37, not merely show them some general kindness. And yet some are not saved.
  11. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Yes, thanks.

    I am struggling over this issue as well. for instance, just today I read Piper regarding Matthew 24:36 today here: How can Jesus be God and man? | Desiring God

    Next week I hope to study Matthew 24:36 more deeply, since this is also a challenging area of theology. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone" (Matthew 24:36). Jesus as man is ignorant of some things.

    I am trying to flesh out the implications of this if you or anyone else has sermons, links, books, to help me through this area as well.
  12. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Why can't Christ, the man, genuinely care that men's souls are lost because of false teaching? Could He not have had sorrow over the people He might have hoped would have been saved? His knowledge is creaturely and so is prone to such loss and suffering. It's prone to regret that some might have been otherwise saved but it is not, ultimately, in competition with Divine knowledge of such things nor does it imply that the Godhead "suffers" by being surprised or disappointed by what might have been if false teaching was not in the way. Why can't Jeremiah weep over Jerusalem and still accept God's judgment as just?

    Is not God's perspective of things altogether different than the creature's or must we insist that God must have sorrow, regret, surprise, etc for Christ the man to experience these things? This is the mystery of the incarnation that a Person can have these two natures in hypostatic union.
  13. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Saved round...

    I just completed a study of Revelation.

    Will Christ, in His humanity or divinity, have any regrets when the bowls of wrath are poured out on the earth?

    The way I read Scripture, there's a certain creaturely perspective toward our fellow man while we're living in this present world but we will be one day in a chorus praising the Lamb for judging His enemies.

    It is not "proper" in this present age to act as if the judgment has come when God has not yet filled up His wrath and the time to repent is at hand. Now is the time to repent and we genuinely care that men do so knowing that, one Day, the time will be over and we will be praising the Lamb for the destruction of His enemies.

    The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world is worthy to open the seals because He was the sacrificial victim. Christ's death and resurrection is that which constitutes the very means that a Bride be gathered and the season before His second advent is the season of proclaiming Christ as saving all those who would place their trust in Him. Yet the time will come where that Lamb will become a military champion. The two aspects don't represent Christ or us both loving and hating our fellow man. The point is that, for now, we genuinely call men and women to repentance and faith but we will not eternally mourn over their destruction when the time to repent has ceased.
  14. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Thanks Rich. I think I agree all in the past several posts. Will be reading more on Christ's humanity this week as it is sometimes difficult to understand how the divine and human natures interact in the one Person of Jesus. The books on "the emotional life of Jesus" have been challenging to me.
  15. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    Maybe this is way off base, and maybe not. I was reading a review on Amazon here , of N.T. Wright's, "Paul and the Faithfulness of God." I haven't read the book. The reviewer says ;

    (bold text emphasis mine)

    The bold text part really struck me. How many of us look at "me" rather than God's larger purpose. Not sure this applies at all, but I thought to mention it. If I'm interpreting him correctly I think Reverend Winzer's post is making that very point ?

  16. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    I think there are aspects that are true but N.T.Wright makes the "it's not this but this..." error. It is both true that God has redeemed a corporate people (and it's not *all* about me) but His election is not *merely* corporate. There is a "me* in God's purposes. He didn't redeem a nameless people but died for each by name. To be in the Body of Christ is more than simply defining boundary markers. Christ not only addresses His Churches but also individuals.

    That said, I think there is an aspect to a lot of the reason that people want to insist "desires" in God has much to do with the idea that the salvation story is about a God longing for communion with people. He wants them to choose Him because, after all, love is worth the risk. We want a God obsessed with individuals, in need of them or we won't consider such a God loving. God is doing His best and so there is no offense to such an offer of the Gospel because God's doing His part in fully craving us and, if we neglect the gift, then it's really our fault that both God and the damned will be eternally miserable. Well, at least God will because such a God will just annihilate because a man's failure to self-actuate can't really warrant eternal condemnation.
  17. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    If we are to weep over the rejection of the Gospel on the part of unbelievers, why does the Lord instruct the disciples to shake the dust off their sandals at those who would not hear them proclaim it? That doesn't sound like an act of mourning.
  18. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Does the shaking of dust imply that one may not mourn over the rejection of the Gospel?

    Acts 13:50–51 (ESV)

    50*But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51*But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium.

    Romans 9:1–3 (ESV)

    1*I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2*that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3*For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

    2 Timothy 2:24–26 (ESV)
    24*And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25*correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26*and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
  19. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    A major evangelical missiological trend in our own day (as promoted by Fuller and Donald McGavrin, et al) was the practice of trying to gauge "receptivity" to the Gospel among unreached people-groups and diverting workers due to this "metric." This means that "resistant" groups often get little attention because "the harvest is not yet ripe there."

    Maybe we could start another OP about "shaking off the dust" in today's missionary efforts and whether this is a lasting missiological principle for us today, especially among resistant groups. Should we allocate missionary workers based on receptivity? If yes, to what degree?

    There might be wisdom in going to where people want to hear you? Yet, God told us to go to "all" nations (Matthew 28), not just the receptive ones. Who is going to go to the resistant peoples?
  20. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    Our Lord also said ; Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

    I've heard that exposited to say that proclaiming the Gospel in some circles is inviting mockers and scoffers, or worse.

    Here is a page of commentaries expositing the verse ; Matthew 7:6 Commentaries: "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
  21. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't see the instruction to shake off the dust of sandals to imply that the Church is not called to proclaim the Gospel to resistant people, just not to get our knickers in a knot, or be emotionally dejected, over the fact that some/many reject it. Paul's sorrow seemed to be over the rejection by his kinsmen collectively, like as one might sorrow over the rejection of Christ by one's own nation, but when faced with it particularly he on a few occasions left them in a manner that did not appear mournful.

    Patiently enduring doesn't necessarily imply sorrow, and lack of sorrow doesn't necessarily imply lack of gentleness, does it?

    Maybe it's just me, but it seems rather strange to say we should sorrow over something we know that 1. God does not sorrow over, and that 2. we will one day not sorrow over. Knowing those things to be true, doesn't that make our present temporary sorrowing a tad contrived? I mean, I have hope that all my family, all my friends, all my coworkers, even all the world will believe unto salvation, and as I am able I support and even participate in the effort to make Christ known to them, but I find it logically inconsistent to grieve over the fact that many won't, considering that to be the will of God.

    I have wept at the thought of unregenerate family and friends dying in unbelief, knowing they have entered an eternity of sorrows, but the reality is that that sorrow has not lessened since the day they died. If it is appropriate to grieve then, why not now? Grief would never end if it were ever proper. The way I deal with it is to repent of my dissatisfaction and disagreement with what God righteously ordains, and move on. Is there some error in that?

    And further, is Paul's grief over the loss to unbelief of God's enemies, or over the fact that a people known for the benefits bestowed upon them by God have so sullied His name by their rejection of Him? Immediately after describing those benefits he goes on to state that they are not all Israel who are of Israel and then enters a discourse on the sovereign electing love of God. He seems to be refuting his own grief, which to me would imply it to be descriptive rather than prescriptive in nature, and a thing to be repented of. But I could be reading it all wrong, so I'm open to correction.
  22. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Verse 38, "Behold your house is left unto you desolate."

    It was the purpose of God that Israel should be hardened and blinded in order that the Gentiles might come in. Suppose for a moment that "Jerusalem below" had been willing to have her children gathered by Christ. What then? Must the Gentiles be suffered to continue in ignorance? What of God's desire for their salvation? But, as James said in defence of the Gentile mission, "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world," Acts 15:18. We can be sure that the desires of God for the salvation of men are in perfect accord with His knowledge and counsel.
  23. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Yes, I agree. We will rejoice and say AMEN to all of God's AMENs in heaven. It is just sad now (during this time) to see people rejecting the Lord).

    I believe Jesus' grief was a true lament and not merely indignation. I believe it broke His heart and made him sad. But some deny this. Hence the OP.
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