Amidst all of the excitement of the Messiah coming to Jerusalem, with all the people praising God for fulfilling His promises, when Jesus sees the city He starts crying. And these aren’t tears of joy, but of sadness. He explains why in His lament that Jerusalem doesn’t know what’s actually happening in it, in spite of all the hubbub and uproar that is presently happening around Him. Furthermore, it will not know because the city will be besieged and destroyed, and it cannot know because they have been hidden.
This is a hard thing to come to grips with. God prevented the people from knowing what Jesus was really about, and thus the city was judged with destruction in A.D. 70. One might question how that is fair and just. I’m not sure I can fully answer that, but I can assert that it must be, because God is entirely just. I can also point out that if He hadn’t, then Jesus might not have been crucified which would leave all of us in our sins forever, prove God a liar, and make all of reality a contradiction. But we have seen things like this througout the Luke’s account, where plain truth is hidden from people until the proper time. The only proper response is to trust in God’s unchangeable character and goodness.
Luke spends less time on the cleansing of the temple, but all four Gospel writers include the event. The merchants who had set up shop in the temple were providing legitimate services; travelers would not necessarily bring their own sacrificial animals with them on a journey, and only a certain kind of coin was accepted as offerings. Having a place near the temple to get these things was convenient. However, it seems clear that the priests didn’t care about the worship any Gentiles would offer because these merchants were set up in the only place the Gentiles were allowed in the temple. They had forgotten that Israel was supposed to be a blessing to all nations by being a visible sign of the Lord’s goodness to the whole world.
After cleansing the temple, Jesus begins teaching there every day. We are also told that “principal men of the people” are now trying to find a way to kill him along with the chief priests and scribes. I would not be surprised to learn that these men are the owners of the businesses Jesus disrupted. But Jesus is still extremely popular, so they aren’t able to move against Him publicly or they would cause a riot.
Your goodness and Your power are the only hope we have for this life or the one to come.