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The Emotions of Jesus (A Palm Sunday Sermon) March 17, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Luke, Palm Sunday, Religion, Sermons.


Luke 19:41-48


Jesus was a man of a wide range of emotions. We have evidence of this in several places in Luke’s gospel.

Compassion (7:12-13 – as an emotion not as an action. Jesus performed an action when he resurrected the widow’s dead son but it was a deed performed out of compassion).

Amazement (7:6-9 – at the belief of the centurion who sought to have his servant healed. As strange as it may seem, we find the Son of God shocked. He who knows all things is surprised at the faith of a man).

Sternness (multiple times; in 8:24 he rebukes the wind and the waves – snorting like a horse. We sometimes have a picture in our minds of Jesus almost whispering, “peace, be still…” or of Him standing and commanding long and loud, “Peeeeeeeace!!!!! Beeeeee stiiiiiiillll…! No, this was an abrupt, stern rebuke, “Peace!…Be still!).

In this passage we see two other emotions of Jesus Christ. They are unexpected emotions. This should be a day of joy and happiness. Jesus is proclaiming Himself king. Verse 37 tells us that as Jesus approaches the descent from the mountain, the multitude of His disciples started rejoicing and praising God with a loud voice, saying, “‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ {#Ps 118:26} Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” In the crowd were a group of Pharisees who called out to Jesus. They were demanding an emotional response from Jesus. They cried out, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” In the same way that you rebuked the wind and the waves, in the same way that you rebuked the demons as you cast them out, speak sharply, reprimand your disciples, tell them to shut up! Jesus, of course, refused to do so. It was a time for loud praising, for joy.

There should be no room for what we call negative emotions but we find that as Jesus came to the descent from the mountain, riding the donkey, with shouts of praise ringing in His ears, tears began to well up in His eyes and He began to weep.


JESUS WEPT BECAUSE HE WAS MOURNING OVER JERUSALEM (verses 41-44) – Usually, in the Scriptures this type of weeping is associated with death and mourning. The passage in chapter 7 that we just looked at, where Jesus had compassion on the widow, we find that He tells the woman not to weep, not to mourn. There is no one, though, to comfort Jesus. They do not understand the depth of His sorrow or the cause of His pain.

Jesus was weeping because of their spiritual blindness (verse 42) – Perhaps His mourning was in direct response to the Pharisees and the understanding as He looked over Jerusalem, that those who had control there would not have Him as king over them. Deeper though was the sorrow He felt because He knew that there was no way to win those men, the leaders of Israel over. They were blind and blind by choice. They could not see the peace that was available to them. This does not mean they were ignorant of what was being offered. The disciples were praising Jesus because they believed that He was the one who was bringing the peace of heaven down to earth (verse 37). The multitude had become bearers of the gospel of peace through the victorious coming of the Messiah, the one who at birth had been named Jesus, because He would save His people from their sins and guide them into the ways of peace (Luke 1:70). This was the hope of Israel. The angels proclaimed at His birth, “Peace on earth, good will to men!” They recognized that Jesus, the Messiah was the peace of Jerusalem. But the leaders, who knew exactly what the peace of Jerusalem meant, said, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” They were blind because they would not see, they refused to understand the truth that was before their eyes.

Max Lucado tells of being on an airplane. The flight was turbulent and bumpy, hardly a reason for humor. But some fellow behind him kept bursting out in laughter. No one else, just him. Finally, Lucado turned to see what was so funny. He was wearing headphones and apparently listening to a comedian. He reacted differently than everyone else on the plane because his focus was different. Could the man feel the turbulence. No doubt. Was he aware that the flight was not smooth, Absolutely. He chose, however, to ignore his circumstances.

Jesus was also weeping because of the consequences of their blindness (verses 43-44) – Jesus gives a fuller description of this event later during the week. It is recorded in Luke 21:

20 ¶ “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.

21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.

22 “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

23 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.

24 “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

This all happened in 70 A.D. One of Rome’s legions was stationed on the very mountain where Jesus foretold Jerusalem’s destruction. The seige lasted about five months and ended with Jerusalem and its temple destroyed, over a million Jews killed and 97,000 shipped off as slaves to other parts of the world. As people starved within the city, they would live the city, be caught by the Roman soldiers, and crucified in numbers of around 500 per day. For more information see http://www.livius.org/ja-jn/jewish_wars/jwar04.html.

Why did this happen this way? Because their rulers did not recognize the day of visitation. They should have recognized that day. Look at what Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist had to say.

Lu 1:68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited <1980> and redeemed His people,

Lu 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited <1980> {NU–Text reads shall visit.} us;

Remember the resurrection of the widow’s son. Look at what the people said afterwards.

Lu 7:16 Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited <1980> His people.”


John puts it this way in his gospel, “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.”


Jesus Angry over the Temple (verses 45-48).

His anger was controlled by God’s will (verses 45-46).

His anger was not like the self-seeking leaders (verses 47-48).


Jesus rides on to Jerusalem to the Temple. There we find a much different emotion. We find Jesus angry in the Temple (verses 45-48).

His anger was controlled by God’s will (verses 45-46). Three years earlier Jesus had driven the moneychangers and salesmen out. At that time He had asked why they had turned His house into a house of merchandise. This time His condemnation is even harsher. Why have you turned my house of prayer into a den of thieves. Now the multitude had expected Jesus to be a man of action but this was not exactly what they had expected. I can imagine Judas, the treasurer of the disciples looking at Jesus’ actions and seeing his glorious financial future go up in smoke. No word about revolution against the Romans. No call for the nation to follow Him in battle but rather a condemnation of the dishonest practices of hardworking Jewish merchants who would change Roman coins for Temple coins and charge exorbitant prices for sacrificial animals for those Jews who had traveled from afar to celebrate the Passover. I can hear them say, “Jesus, you are going to need some financial resources if you are going to fight the Romans. You are going to need the backing of the political elite, the priests and the rulers of the people. Jesus, you are cutting your own throat.” Jesus, is challenging the status quo by obeying His Father’s will. The sternness that the Pharisees wanted Jesus to show to His disciples, He is showing to those who have made the worship and service of God into a money making proposition.

Jesus was not the only one who was angry. The self-seeking leaders of the Jews were furious (verses 47-48). They had long sought for a way, an opportunity to destroy Him. That time would soon come. Events would happen fast but first our Lord must teach the people. Because Jesus allowed His Father to control His anger, we find that He was able to return to the teaching the people. We have seen Jesus sad and we have seen Jesus angry but now we see Him compassionate. These people need the truth of the word of God. They needed to understand that He was the Messiah. Jesus did not rejoice in their near future nor did He condone their current leadership. He spent His time trying to bring people to God.


INVITATION: Jesus came that you might learn the true way to God. It is not based on religious leaders, as necessary as they are. It is based on trust in Jesus Christ alone. He died for you and rose again, that you might worship the only true God. Trust Christ as your Savior from sin today. Let us show you how to be saved, how to accept this message of salvation through Jesus Christ.


Believer, do your emotions reflect Christ? Do you mourn over those who are headed for destruction? Do you get angry at those things or those people who are leading them to destruction? Are you modeling the emotions of God. Emotions are not sinful if they are focused on pleasing God. Our emotions and our energies and our desires should be directed to those who are watching us who need to learn the truth and the reality of our faith in Christ: our young people, our young believers, and the unbelievers with whom we have contact. Will you commit yourself to feeling as Christ would feel?



1. Compassion dave - November 7, 2008


WORDPRESS says that our two blogs (at least our most recent posts) are related, so I came by to check you out–I hope you enjoy my slant on the topic. Please stop by my blog and let me know what you think (and if you like it, maybe add Jesus + Compassion to your blog roll so we can stay connected).

God bless you!


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