A Sermon on "Weep Not" from Luke 23:27-31
27Now following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and grieving for Him. 28But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For behold, days are coming …
27¶ And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. 28But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29For, behold, the days are coming, in …
In Luke’s account of Christ’s journey to the cross, he includes the last public teaching of Jesus. In the midst of pain and suffering as he trudges along the road to face crucifixion, Jesus turns to the women who are following Him and admonishes them to weep for themselves, not for Him. His instruction is startling since He is on His way to die. In this sermon on Luke 23:27–31 titled “Think, Weep, Repent,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls attention to the compassion Christ had for these women that caused Him to stop along His road toward death. He also calls the listener to pay careful attention to the content of Christ’s teaching: weeping for Him is a thoughtless act for He was going to His death on behalf of sinful humankind and would be raised in glory three days later. Christ instructs the women to weep not for Him, but for themselves because of their ignorance of who He is and what He is accomplishing. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds on the content of Christ’s final teaching, he applies this message to the modern listener with a somber warning: “Have you wept over your sin and ignorance? Have you prayed for eyes to behold the love and justice of God displayed on the cross?” He encourages approaching the cross and death of Christ with thoughtfulness and contemplation, with weeping over sin and ignorance.
- The sermon is focused on Jesus's teaching to the daughters of Jerusalem as he carries his cross to Golgotha.
- Jesus rebukes the women for weeping for him and tells them to weep for themselves instead.
- The women were weeping out of thoughtlessness and sentimentality. They failed to fully understand what was truly happening.
- Jesus came into the world deliberately to die on the cross. His death was not a surprise or disappointment to him. It was the purpose of the incarnation.
- Jesus's death on the cross glorified God and manifested His love by providing salvation for sinners.
- Jesus defeated sin, death, and the devil through his death on the cross.
- The women, like all people, were ignorant of their sinful state, need for redemption, and who Jesus truly was. This is why they should weep for themselves.
- Jesus was also prophesying the coming destruction of Jerusalem for rejecting him.
- Jesus's message was a warning to all who reject him and die in their sins. They will face eternal punishment.
- We must ask ourselves how we have reacted to Jesus's death on the cross. Have we wept for ourselves in repentance or just felt sorry for Jesus?
- We should weep for ourselves upon realizing our sin, helplessness, and Jesus's amazing love shown on the cross.
- The cross is the only source of salvation and should be our glory and joy. All else is worthless in comparison.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.