And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,…
I. THAT GOSPEL BLESSINGS ARE CONDUCIVE TO THE PEACE OF MANKIND, They are the things which belong unto our peace. Here let us more particularly observe —
1. What those things are to which our Lord refers. The blessings of grace in this world. Deliverance — from bondage, condemnation, and guilty fears (Psalm 116:16; Isaiah 12:1; Psalm 34:4); and holiness — both of heart and life (Obadiah 1:17; Romans 6:22). The blessings of glory in the eternal state. An eternal life of rest, felicity, honour, and security (Romans 2:6, 7).
2. How these things are conducive to our peace. They belong unto our peace as they produce sweet tranquillity of mind (Ecclesiastes 2:26). This arises from peace with God (Romans 5:1); peace of conscience (2 Corinthians 1:12); a peaceable disposition (James 3:18,); the joy of victory (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:37); and the joy of hope (Romans 5:2, and Romans 14:17). Our text teaches us —
II. THAT THESE BLESSINGS MUST BE KNOWN TO BE ENJOYED. "Oh that thou hadst known," etc. The knowledge thus necessary must be —
1. A speculative knowledge; that is, we must have a correct view of them as they are exhibited in God's Word — For we are naturally without them (Romans 3:16-18). We must seek them to obtain them (Job 22:21; Isaiah 27:5). And we must understand them in order that we may seek them aright: we must understand the nature of them; the necessity of them; and the way to obtain them (Proverbs 19:2). The knowledge here required must also be —
2. An experimental knowledge. This is evident — From the testimony of inspired apostles (2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 John 5:19). And from the nature of gospel blessings; spiritual sight, liberty, and health, must be experienced to be enjoyed. Our text teaches us —
III. THAT A SEASON IS AFFORDED US FOR ACQUIRING THE KNOWLEDGE OF THESE BLESSINGS.
1. This season is here called our day, because it is the time in which we are called to labour for the blessings of peace (John 6:27; Philippians 2:12; 13; 2 Peter 3:14).
2. This season is favourable for seeking the things here recommended; for they are set before us (Deuteronomy 30:19, 29); we have strength promised to seek them with (Isaiah 40:31); and we have light to seek them in (John 12:36). Hence, we should also recollect —
3. This season is limited: it is only a day. Our text also teaches us, with respect to gospel blessings —
IV. THAT IT IS GOD'S WILL THEY SHOULD BE ENJOYED BY US. This is certain
1. From the wish of Christ — "O that thou hadst known," etc. Such a wish we find often repeated by God in His Word, and expressed in the kindest manner; see Deuteronomy 5:29; Deuteronomy 32:29; Isaiah 48:18.
2. From the tears of Christ. These demonstrate the sincerity of His wish (Deuteronomy 32:4); the great importance of godliness (1 Timothy 4:8); and the dreadful doom of impenitent sinners (Romans 2:8, 9).
3. From the visitations of Christ. He visited us by His incarnation; and He still visits us by the strivings of His Spirit, the gifts of His providence, and the ministry of His Word.
V. THAT ALL WHO SEEK THESE BLESSINGS ARIGHT WILL OBTAIN THEM.
VI. THAT THE REJECTION OF THESE BLESSINGS IS PUNISHED WITH DESTRUCTION.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,