Luke 19:37-48 – “As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” 41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you, and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” 45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” 47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.” ESV
It is of significance to define what the word translated ‘visitation.’ In Strong’s Concordance, it is defined as ‘inspection’ and in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon the biblical Greek defines it as – “that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds, and character of men in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sad.” The idea is inspection, investigation, and visitation. It is, therefore, the time in which God Himself is manifested as gracious and offers salvation through Jesus Christ.
In this passage, Jesus is visibly and audibly moved by the reality of the inhabitants of Jerusalem’s spiritual blindness and rejection of the blessings of God. Salvation through Jesus Christ has been offered, and they have failed to heed the call and accept His mercy and grace. They did not recognize the time of their visitation!
The Kingdom of God had come to them, and they did not recognize it. Why? Jesus was there and therefore God was there, but they did not recognize the Kingdom of God. Why? Salvation had come to them and was available for them, but they did not recognize the Kingdom of God and accept salvation. Why?
Why would anyone refuse this tremendous offer of forgiveness? Why would anyone choose the pathway of condemnation to forgiveness? Why would anyone take the pathway of eternal death to eternal life? Why would anyone prefer garbage to gold? Why would any intelligent, reasonable, sane person make such a choice? There are more possibilities than I can address but let me address a few reasons why.
Number One – Religious Prejudice.
That may sound illogical to you but prejudice of any kind blinds to truth and fact. Prejudice is to ‘pre-judge.’ It is to render a judgment before the facts are in and the evidence has been presented. It is a judgment based upon bias rather than truth. It is allowing preference to prevail over truth.
Remember the words of Nathaniel regarding the possibility of Jesus being the Messiah in John 1:46? He said, “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” In the Amplified, it reads, “Nazareth! Can anything good come out of Nazareth!” Remember the response of the citizens of Jesus’ hometown in Mark 6:3? They said, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” Remember the response of the Pharisees to Jesus in John 7:52? We read, “…art thou also of Galilee? Search out and look for out of Galilee arises no prophet.”
Prejudice as to how the Messiah would come prevented them from knowing the time of their visitation. Prejudice as to what the Messiah would do prevented them from knowing the time of their visitation. Prejudice as to how He would do what He did prevented them from knowing the time of their visitation.
In a measure it was bigotry. That is seen in the response of the Pharisees when Jesus went to be the guest for lunch of a local resident in Luke 19:7. They murmured and said, “Scandalous, He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
Because of their bias and prejudice via the religious leaders, their culture, and their selfish motivations they rejected to examine every possibility and listen to the message. When He healed the sick, they said, “He has a devil.” When He forgave, they said, “He was committing blasphemy.” The Bible says, “He came to His own and they received Him not.”
Today many fail to find God because of religious prejudices. Some never discover the victorious life because they have been taught it does not exist. Some never accept salvation because they have been taught that this life is all there is. Religious prejudice destroys more lives spiritually than all the Hitlers of the world.
I want to address this more but will pause and wait until next time to address reason Number Two why people fail to perceive their time of visitation.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!