Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Weeping Jesus

It is not surprising that Luke recorded that Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. Jesus wept "because you did not know the time of your visitation." Micah, prophet of the poor and the oppressed, wept because "the day of your watchmen, of your visitation has come . . . ." What is surprising is that Matthew, Mark and John did not record this event. Matthew, Mark and John did not appreciate that the radical act of ritual mourning by Micah and weeping by Jesus and then by Jerusalem is part of the prophetic symbolic act that filled the act with the requisite doleful pathos.

The judgments threaten by the prophets are conditional; if sinners repent they will be saved. This is the teaching of Jeremiah and Jonah. Micah concludes his book by telling us that Yahweh, as a faithful covenant seeker, will cleanse his unfaithful partner by hurling their iniquities into the depths of the sea if they repent and return to Him.

Herod Antipas was perplexed. Lack of understanding is a theme resonating throughout the Gospel of Luke. This lack of understanding is strongly expressed in words never previously properly elucidated: “and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring sea and waves.” According to the Prophet Micah, the role of “the depths of the sea” is to be the repository for the iniquities of the people to be hurled into it. In Luke, “the roaring sea and waves” is impatiently waiting to become the repository of the iniquities of the people. In the OT, Yahweh disposes of all the iniquities of the people who repent and return to Him. Thus both Micah and Luke are describing God's forgiveness of his people's sins by the metaphor of his subduing the Egyptian army at the Red Sea.

The nations in their distress did not understand. Jesus told the women of Jerusalem who bewailed and lamented him, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but for yourselves and for your children.” Micah told the Daughter of Zion to weep.

Copyrighted 2007


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