“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church

Week 1
Day 6

    Listen:

Luke 18‒19

Jesus wept over Jerusalem

Luke 19

41 And when He was near, seeing the city, He wept over it,
42 saying, O that thou hadst known, even thou, and, indeed, in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace! But now they are hidden from thine eyes.
43 For the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast a rampart around thee, and shall surround thee, and shall beset thee on every side;
44 and they shall lay thee level with the ground, and thy children within thee, and they shall not leave in thee stone upon stone, because thou didst not know the time of thy visitation.
45And He went into the temple, and began to cast out those who sold in it, and those who bought,
46 saying to them, It is written, My house is a house of prayer8, but you have made it a cave of robbers9.
47 And He taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the first of the people sought to destroy Him,
48 and could not find what they might do, for all the people hung upon Him to hear Him .

AE 365:9. Jesus wept over the city, saying, If thou hadst known, and indeed in this day, the things that belong to thy peace! But now it is hidden from thine eyes (Luke 19:41-42). Those who think of these words and those that follow immediately there only from the sense of the letter, because they see no other sense, believe that these words were spoken by the Lord respecting the destruction of Jerusalem. But all things that the Lord spoke, since they were from the Divine, did not relate to worldly and temporal things, but to heavenly and eternal things. Therefore “Jerusalem,” over which “the Lord wept,” signifies here as elsewhere the church, which was then entirely vastated, so that there was no longer any truth and consequently no good, and thus they were about to perish forever. Therefore He says, “if thou hadst known, and indeed in this day, the things that belong to thy peace,” that is, that belong to eternal life and happiness, which are from the Lord alone; for “peace” means heaven and heavenly joy through conjunction with the Lord.

AE 410:8. “A den of robbers” signifies the evil of life from the falsities of doctrine; and “the house upon which My name is named” [Jer. 7:11] signifies the church where there is worship from the goods of life by truths of doctrine; “house” meaning the church, and “the name of Jehovah” everything by which He is worshiped, thus good and truth, truth of doctrine and good of life. The church where there is evil of life from falsities of doctrine is called “a den of robbers” because “den” signifies that evil, and those are called “robbers” who steal truths from the Word and pervert them, and apply them to falsities and evils, and thus extinguish them. All this makes clear what is meant by the Lord’s words in the Gospels:

It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayers; but you have made it a den of robbers (Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46).

“House” here, in the universal sense, signifies the church; and because worship was performed in the temple at Jerusalem, it is called “a house of prayers.”


8 Isaiah 56:7

9 Jeremiah 7:11

Questions and Comments
  1. How does it affect your thought of the Lord, knowing that He wept over Jerusalem? We may remember the teaching, “Mercy is love grieving” (AC 5480).
  2. How should we think of the fact that a church (and a civilization) can perish forever? How should we respond?
  3. Does the Lord want us to watch out for people turning our church from a house of prayers into a den of robbers? Should we have zeal to protect the church from evil of life and falsities of doctrine? How might the Lord cast out those who sell and those who buy false teachings from our church?
  4. The chief priests and scribes and the first of the people could not do anything against the Lord for a while because all the people “hung upon Him to hear Him.” Does this suggest ways that average laymen can help protect the Lord’s presence in the church?
previous next