Friday, February 26th Luke 13:31-35

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Luke 13:31-35

Herod Antipas was the ruler of Galilee, the region where Jesus grew up. During his 40+ years in charge, Herod built two significant cities: Tiberias, his capital city on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and Sepphoris, farther inland, just over the hill from Nazareth. It is inconceivable, being just two or three miles from Nazareth, that Jesus and his friends didn’t spend time watching the construction of Sepphoris.

Herod, being the officially Rome-authorized local Boss, could largely do whatever he wanted to do. Mostly he wanted to collect taxes, both to fuel his own appetites and to appease his Roman overlords. And, on the side, if he felt the urge to divorce his wife and marry his brother Phillip’s wife, Herodias, just because he could, who could stop him?

The gospels tell us that John the Baptist spoke out against Herod, particularly because Herod stole his brother’s wife. For that, John the Baptist was thrown into prison, and later, on a whim, beheaded. John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin.

Jesus knew who Herod was for a long time. He knew exactly what Herod could do.

But he wasn’t afraid of him.

“Go and tell that fox for me…”

Jesus knows Herod, but more importantly, Jesus knows himself. He knows what he is about, what his life is about, and for all of their pomp, power and position, the Herod’s of life will not win anything.

Interesting, isn’t it, that it’s is a group of Pharisees who come to warn Jesus that Herod? What do you think – do you think these are friendly Pharisees who are thinking about the health and well being of Jesus…or are they merely savvy Pharisees who have so accommodated themselves to the places of power that Herod allows them to have that they don’t want Jesus raising a ruckus and spoiling a good thing?

Yeah, that’s what I think too.

So it makes us wonder – to what degree have we sold out to the safety and security to our place in the political/economic/class world that we fail to miss the revolutionary voice of Jesus on behalf of the broken, the hungry, the least and the lost?

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, even in the face of opposition and threat, Jesus never wavered from his mission in life. All the way to the humiliation and the torture of the cross. Never let us settle for the kind of faith that promises an easy life for us, but help us strive for the kind of faith that works for a better life for all. Now and in the life to come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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2 Responses to “Friday, February 26th Luke 13:31-35”

  1. marian severt Says:

    Dear Pastor Kerry,
    A heartfelt and grateful welcome back. I have missed our daily visits as I am sure many have. Your devotional ministry is indeed a blessing to many you do not know personally yet touch every day. You are in my prayers as you continue to seek “normal” in your new life.
    God bless and keep you today and always.

  2. Russell Says:

    very radical commentary for a daily devotional, makes you think the light bulb is finally on in someone elses mind..I could say more but the rocks, stones, arrows and daggers hurt.

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