Luke 19:42-44 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. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
This is one of the most moving scenes in all of the Bible. Jesus is entering Jerusalem for the last time. His earthly ministry is drawing to a close. He has been rejected by his people, it is time for Him to die. He is grieving over Israel. The Lord says two things about them, they had missed the things that “make for peace” and they had missed their visitation. There is much that can be said about these two phrases. First, the things that make for peace is referring to the message of the gospel. Peace in our soul and peace with God come from the message of the gospel. All of man is separated from God and restoration and recovery come from embracing the message of Christ. We are saved by the gift of God’s grace that that is received by faith. The jewish nation never embraced the message of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Secondly, Jesus said they missed the time of their visitation. God Himself had come among them with the power of signs and wonders. John the Baptist had preceded Him with an anointing to prophesy about the appearing of the Messiah. The people of Israel hardened their hearts, they missed the time of God’s visitation. John Gill also spoke about this powerful phrase, this is something of what he said.
“because thou knowest not the time of thy visitation;
in which the dayspring from on high had visited them with his personal presence, preaching among them, and working miracles; and yet they knew him not, but despised and rejected him; yea, after that they had put him to death, and he was risen again, he ordered his disciples to begin their ministry, and preach the Gospel, at Jerusalem; and they continued for some time only preaching to them, or at least rarely elsewhere, till they put away the Gospel from them. The time of the ministry of John the Baptist, of Christ, and his apostles in Judea, was the time of Jerusalem’s visitation in a way of mercy; which not being taken notice of, and observed, brought another kind of visitation upon them, even in a way of wrath and vengeance. The Jews pretend to assign other causes of Jerusalem’s destruction; but the true cause was their rejection of Jesus, as the Messiah.”
Our generation has also experienced times of visitation from the presence of The Lord. Can we say our nation has embraced the move of God our have we, as a people, missed this time of visitation? I think the answer is obvious. There is still hope, the visitations continue, actually they are increasing as the time of His Second Visitation comes near.