Second Sunday in Lent | March 17, 2019
At that time some Pharisees said to him, “Get away from here if you want to live! Herod Antipas wants to kill you!”
Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose. Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must proceed on my way. For it wouldn’t do for a prophet of God to be killed except in Jerusalem!
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
Luke 13:31-35 New Living Translation (NLT)
This week our Gospel reading jumps ahead in the Gospel of Luke to his account of Jesus grieving over Jerusalem.
In a surprising move, the Pharisee’s warn Jesus that Herod wants to kill him. Perhaps they were trying to save Jesus from the same fate that befell John the Baptist. It’s really hard to tell their motivation and interesting considering that the Pharisees are ultimately the ones who had Jesus crucified. But for some reason they have compassion and warn Jesus.
Jesus knows what he has come to do – and he tells the Pharisees that he will continue to do it. Think about how that works in your life. Do you know the plan that God has for you? Do you know without a doubt? Do you question God’s plan for you? Jesus didn’t – he told the Pharisees “I will continue to heal – I will continue to cast out demons – I will accomplish my purpose!” This is great inspiration for us, especially when we come up against obstacles that seem daunting. I know one of the things that I have been led to is to have a Vacation Bible School at our church this summer. It seems daunting, but I really believe that God has called us to do it. I would ask you to pray for us as we move ahead on this project.
Jesus continues that he must continue – I am fond of saying that I must press on! This morning, I still don’t know how I got the motivation to go beyond 3 miles – maybe it was a God thing (I’m not sure, but I did!) Jesus said however, if he was going to die, it needed to happen in Jerusalem. We get the idea that it would be important to die in Jerusalem rather than somewhere else.
Here in the midst of the persecution, Jesus prays for the peace of Jerusalem. He prays for the people, because (I believe) he knows that they are God’s people. This is another point of application for us. Do we grieve over people who don’t know the way to Jesus? Do we grieve over people who just go on living their life as if there is nothing more? If not, we need to ask God to work in our hearts – to break our hearts with what breaks his.
Jesus knows that his time is drawing short – that this will be one of the last times he will be in Jerusalem before he come for the final time on Palm Sunday – when the people are crying “Hosanna!” or God save us. I think Jesus really wants to make a difference, but their hearts will not turn to Him.
Let’s pray that God will open doors – that we will persevere – let’s pray that God would break our hearts with what breaks his.