“Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes’” (Luke 19:41-42).
Imagine if someone gave you a map which gave you directions to find a treasure of great value. Would you use the map or would you cast it aside and spend the rest of your life trying to find the treasure without any guidance? Of course, you would use the map!
As Jesus comes to Jerusalem, He speaks of how the citizens of that city had missed out on a great treasure that had been made available to them. The great treasure was God’s peace (Luke 19:52). God wanted to have peace between Himself and His people. He wanted them to know the blessings of having the peace of God in their hearts. The apostle Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Being able to live a life free of anxiety and worry by having God’s peace guard and reign in our hearts is a great treasure.
Why didn’t they enjoy this treasure? It was “hidden from their eyes” (Luke 19:42). Had God hidden it from them so they could not find His peace? No, they had hidden it from themselves because they rejected God and His Will for them. Earlier in His ministry as He was explaining why He spoke to the people in parables, Jesus said, “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them' ” (Matthew 13:13-15). Had the people had open hearts, which were receptive to listening to and obeying God, they could have easily found God’s treasure of peace for themselves which God wanted them to have.
How did Jesus feel about these people not finding God’s peace? He wept for them (Luke 19:41). Jesus knew that because they had rejected God and His peace, terrible judgment awaited them as Jerusalem would soon be destroyed by her enemies (Luke 19:43-44).
God knows that terrible judgment awaits those today who reject Him and His Will (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9). He is longsuffering as He waits for men to repent and seek the peace which He longs to give them. Jesus sent His disciples throughout the world to make the way known to all men about how to find God’s peace (Mark 16:15-16). Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). It still breaks God’s heart today for men to reject Him and to hide God’s peace from their eyes.
I realize having God’s peace in my life is a great treasure. I will not allow this treasure to be “hidden from my eyes” because I stubbornly resist God’s Will for me. Today, I will keep my eyes, ears, and heart open to God that I may know His peace which surpasses all understanding!
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).