“Weep…for Yourselves ”

By: Rev. Sam Harris; ©2001
Why would Jesus tell the “daughters of Jerusalem” to weep for themselves? Rev. Harris explores the deeper meanings and present-day implications in these words of Jesus found in Luke 23:26-31.

“Weep…for Yourselves ”


My husband and I were reading Luke 23:26-31, recently in our daily Bible read­ing. There seems to be a deeper meaning to Jesus’ words in this passage that we can­not grasp, especially in verse 31. Please, can you help us? We discussed this passage for quite a length of time…. We know what He is saying… but, we feel He means more than we are understanding. Thank you for your wonderful ministry and loving the Lord, our God, as you do. (Texas)


Thank you for the question and your kind words. It’s also a blessing to hear that you and your husband are studying the Word together!

The context of this passage comes after Jesus’ appearance before Pilate, who wanted to release Jesus, but was persuaded by the crowd to have Him crucified.

When a criminal was condemned to be crucified, he was taken from the judgment hall by Roman soldiers. His own cross was put on his shoulders, and he was marched to the place of crucifixion by the longest possible route. Before the criminal would go a soldier carrying a card with his crime written upon it, so that it would be a warning to anyone else who might be contemplating such a crime (Note John 19:17).

Under the weight of the cross, Jesus’ strength gave out, and the soldiers conscripted Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross the rest of the way. Being that Palestine was an occu­pied country, the soldiers could impress anyone into service. Simon, no doubt, must have been there for the Passover feast and was called to carry the cross the rest of the way.

Behind Jesus there came a group of women who were weeping for Him (v. 27). Jesus turned to them, and Luke writes something that is not found in either Matthew or Mark. For Luke it is important because Jesus expresses His concern for Jerusalem. (Look back at Luke 19:41-44 and 21:20-24.) Jesus was looking ahead to the destruction of that city which had so often before and was now refusing the invitation God was extending to them.

Jewish women had always considered barrenness a misfortune while having children was a blessing. When Jerusalem was destroyed, the women would be horrified at the sight of their children suffering. Those who had no children would be glad that they had none.

We know that fire will spread more rapidly through a dry forest rather than a wet one. Jesus’ words in verse 31 warn of the future conditions. If they do this to one Who is inno­cent, what will they do someday to those who are guilty and deserve it?

Let me share verse 28-31 from The Living Bible:

“Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when the women who have no children will be counted fortunate indeed. Mankind will beg the mountains to fall on them and crush them, and the hills to bury them. For if such things as this are done to Me, The Living Tree, what will they do to you?”

My wife and I have a 15 year old daughter and our oldest daughter and her husband, gave us our first grandchild. When I look at today’s world and consider their future, it fright­ens me as to the potential suffering that they might/will have to endure—especially as Christians. Each day, we commit them to the Lord knowing that Jesus said that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We also affirm the strong belief that this is not the end, but He is coming again! Praise the Lord!

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