Did you know that tears that result from sadness, anger, fear or joy have a chemical difference from those caused by smelling onions or an irritant in your eye? Some scientists and counselors believe that tears may be nature’s method of removing chemicals built up by stress from the body. Studies indicate that women cry five times as often as men and 85% of women and 73% of men think thought that crying made them feel better. The most common reason for crying is sadness, followed in rank by happiness, anger, sympathy, anxiety, and fear. Someone once said, “Tears are simply the raindrops from the storms inside of us.”

What makes you cry? 

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, His emotions turned to action. He cried and got angry.

What made Jesus cry? What made Jesus angry?

Jesus cried because of unbelief and future judgment.

And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. (Luke 19:41-44)

Jesus wept over Jerusalem’s unbelief. In contrast to the joy of the crowds, only Luke records this lament as He approached Jerusalem and saw the city. It is the strongest word in the Greek language for weeping. They were tears of perplexity – He wanted to save them but they refused. They were of pain – He knew the destruction to the city and people. They were tears of pity – He loved them.

It broke His heart because Jesus knew that Jerusalem would be attacked and utterly destroyed by her enemies. It would come true about 40 years later when the Emperor Titus built a wall around the city so no one could get in or out. He starved the population. Soldiers heard about the gold of Solomon’s temple and after the city burned, they took the Temple apart brick by brick. Jesus’ words were literally fulfilled.

The heart of Jesus breaks for those who reject God’s offer of forgiveness.

Dwight Moody tells the story of his conversion in Boston. He attended a Sunday School class and his teacher came in to the shoe shop where he was working. He put his hand on his shoulder and talked to him about Christ. Moody said, “It was strange. Here is a man who never saw me till lately, and he is weeping over my sins, and I never shed a tear bout them.’ He soon became a Christian. 

Jesus still loves and desires to save sinners. It breaks His heart. Does it break our heart?

Jesus got angry because of hypocrisy and unreached people (v. 45-48)

And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him. (Luke 19:45-48)

Notice what Jesus does and why. Jesus enters the Temple and drives out the merchants from their stalls because they have turned this house of prayer into a den of thieves. The religious leaders discussed ways they might kill Him!

Two things were going on. (1) Each male was to pay ½ shekel a year for the Temple maintenance. Money changers were charging too much to exchange money into a Temple shekel. (2) The Passover lambs to be sacrificed by each family must be without spot or blemish. The sellers of these animals were charging unreasonable prices for pre-approved animals. What made Jesus so mad? selfishness & greed, busyness, lack of prayer & unbelievers.

God wants His house to be a house of prayer for all people. But the religious leaders would rather have Jesus killed than change their tradition and selfish ambition.

Jesus wants God’s house to be a place of prayer to reach unbelievers.

When Jim Cymbala became the pastor at Brooklyn Tabernacle, he was under-educated and time-strapped – he led another church in New Jerusalem. The Brooklyn Church couldn’t pay him, they had an old building, and had barely any Sunday attendance. In a moment of desperation, he called the church to pray. The weekly prayer meeting, not the Sunday morning service, became the focal point of the ministry. Today over 10,000 people attend weekly and many more have followed Jesus as Savior. All because of Brooklyn Tabernacle became a house of prayer.

It is interesting that at the first cleansing of the Temple (John 2:12-17), at the beginning of His ministry, Jesus called the Temple “My Father’s house.” This time He calls it “My house”. When He walks out for the last time in Matthew 23:38 before going to the cross, He says, “Your house is left unto you desolate.” God has left the building.

Have you allowed selfishness, greed, or busyness to keep you from prayer to God and bringing unbelievers to God?

Revival begins in our heart. A heart that is broken for the lost. A heart that longs to pray to God and for the lost. Let’s be that kind of church. God will bring people to that kind of church.

A much-used story is told of a seacost that was known to be dangerous. A little lighthouse was erected with a volunteer squad who would risk their life for those on a shipwreck. After many years the lighthouse needed repaired, a vote was taken, funds were raised, and a new modern facility replaced the old one with a meeting rooms, a clubhouse and restaurant. It was very popular. The rescue team was hired as full-time staff and often worked social activities rather than rescue missions. One cold night the squad brought in dozens of victims from a shipwreck. The bleeding and dirty were brought into the elaborate clubhouse. At the next meeting of the club a vote was taken to build a bathhouse so wreck victims could clean up before they came inside. Someone objected that the purpose of the lighthouse was to rescue people. Another replied that if they wanted to do that, they could go down the coast and build their own lighthouse. They did it and soon their lighthouse became obsolete, a new modern one was built, and became a club. Today you can go up and down the seacost and visit many clubs and a lighthouse. There are still a lot of accidents and shipwrecks, but most of the victims drown.

I believe this has happened to many churches and religious organizations. At one time they were rescue stations for lost souls. But over time, they have become country clubs for overfed believers. May we always be part of God’s rescue mission to help save the world.