What nuisance in your life attempts to control you by bringing fear, sucks out your joy and pleasures, and basically hinders your life? It attempts to drive you from what you desire to do. I'm certain there is something or someone who pops up in life occasionally. How do you handle it? Another question we will explore today is have you ever had your love rejected? Sure you have somewhere along the way. How'd you feel? How did the rejection affect you?
Luke 13:31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, "LEAVE THIS PLACE and go somewhere else. HEROD WANTS TO KILL YOU."
We have to question why Pharisees who desired Jesus dead would warn Jesus about Herod wanting to kill him. Were they converting? Or, were they simply attempting to spook Jesus away from their area? This seems to be the most contextual answer. Jesus was bringing them grief. I think their request was more "Leave this place and go somewhere else" with a guise of "Herod wants to kill you." Manipulative people do this. Has anyone ever told you something supposedly for your good, but in reality it was to get what they wanted?
I heard someone once refer to Pharisees as "The PBS" - The Pharisee Broadcasting System. They were the media outlet of the day bringing negative fearful news and it was always to get what they wanted. Most news media is this way, so hold on to this thought. I'll mention it again shortly.
This Herod would be Herod Antipas the son of a very vile man, Herod the Great. It was Herod the Great who killed all infant males two years and younger after the Magi's visit (Mat 2:16). Herod the Great willed the region he governed under Rome to be divided into sections among his sons. This Herod was one of his vile sons and just another corrupt politician only caring about himself and personal greed. By this information we know Jesus was east of Jerusalem in the area of Perea awaiting the time to go into Jerusalem for Passover (map ).
Herod Antipas was mentioned earlier in Luke 9:7-8 and shows up frequently in the story of Jesus. He's the Herod John the Baptist publicly exposed for taking his brother's (Philip) wife (Luk 3:19; Mat 14:3). Herod arrested John. Later Herod, in a drunken stupor while lusting over his own step daughter, who was also his niece, had John the Baptist beheaded and John's head placed on a platter to give the girl (Mat 14:11). The word vile is really not sufficient to describe Herod. How did Jesus respond to the PBS concerning Herod?
Luke 13:32-33 He replied, "GO TELL THAT FOX, 'I will drive out demons and heal people TODAY and TOMORROW, and on the THIRD DAY I will reach my GOAL.' In any case, I MUST KEEP GOING TODAY AND TOMORROW AND THE NEXT DAY -- for surely no prophet can DIE outside Jerusalem!
Jesus had a date with death and knew it. We all do. Jesus had a goal to reach. We all should. One thing attempting to detour us all through control and fear is the fox, the "Herod," in our life's story.
This fox thought is fascinating. Jesus refused to allow himself to be concerned with or controlled by a vile thing like Herod. Jesus must keep going and doing what he was here to do. Jesus did not allow Herod to detour him, put fear into him, take his joy, hinder, or control his life in any way. Jesus didn't bother himself with Herod as his cousin John the Baptist did. I was thinking about this. John the Baptist became so consumed with Herod he allowed Herod to control him. Herod not only stopped John, but destroyed his life. This is what the fox does to anyone if we don't learn how to handle Herod. It may sound simple, but it's difficult to do. We must learn to tell that fox!
Jesus called Herod a "fox." If you called a woman a "fox," it could mean she was good (foxy) looking. Of course, this isn't what Jesus meant. Jesus gave a caricature of Herod. Jesus meant fox like sly, scheming, crafty, sneaky, devious, a predator, etc. We could us the synonym "weasel." However, neither a fox nor a weasel is life threatening unless they become rabid as Herod did with John the Baptist. To Jesus, Herod was a vile nuisance, an egg sucking weasel, but no threat to the goal of Jesus. Jesus said, "Go tell that fox..." it's not going to happen.
What's your Herod fox? How many would admit most of the issues we allow to control our minds and lives are but foxes attempting to spook us out of our place, robbing even destroying, abundant life. Don't allow a vile fox a place. Instead, tell that fox you must keep going today, tomorrow, and the next day until you reach your goal. Tell it in the realm of the Spirit and prayer. Don't only pray about it. Tell it! There's a difference. Jesus said tell your mountain (Mar 11:23-24) to be cast into the sea. No one else can tell it for you. Tell your fox Herod it will not stop you today, tomorrow, or the next day. You will finish your goal.
When we look at the story/life of Jesus, we see Herod never played a truly vital part. Jesus never allowed it. John did.
Herod was no threat to Jesus at all! He was of ZERO CONSEQUENCE. Most issues taking our joy, causing stress, sometimes bringing terror in our lives are actually of zero consequence if we will tell that fox.
Even on a larger scale, many issues people are concerned about today are nothing more than "Herods" our irresponsible media - The PBS - report. Remember Y2K in 1999? "The planet is going to melt down," said the media. How about oil shortages? "We're running out of fossil fuel," the media said. Remember the oil spill a few years ago. The media said the entire Gulf of Mexico was ruined. How about Global Warming? All it did was make politicians billionaires.
The PBS we hear in our heads is only the media of the enemy, a devious fox. Go tell your fox I will do what I came to do today and tomorrow, and on the third day. I will reach my goal.
Jesus said he must keep going until he reached his goal. Then he said, "for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!" followed by a lament of tremendous sadness amazingly for the very people who rejected him.
Luke 13:34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, YOU WHO KILL the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have LONGED to gather your children together, as a HEN GATHERS HER CHICKS UNDER HER WINGS, but you were not willing! LOOK, your house is left to you DESOLATE.
Have you ever had your love rejected? Likely, we all have at some point in life. Do you recall your first crush in grammar school? That was probably your first experience of your love being rejected. As school children, we have "puppy love," but it still hurts. It's paralyzing to a child. As adults one spouse rejects the love of the other. It's devastatingly paralyzing. Children feel their love rejected and are devastated by a parent in a divorce. The rejection of love is devastating and paralyzing. I've had my love rejected so many times I've forgotten who all's rejected it. It's great to be a pastor, but you lose count of the devastating and paralyzing rejections. Am I bitter? Amazingly, I've never been. Instead, I feel I've failed, but can we even begin to imagine how God feels daily? Can we begin to imagine how Jesus felt as he experienced his love rejected as he was on his way to literally die a most horrific death for the very ones rejecting his love? He was sent. I feel sent, but it doesn't stop the rejection.
The imagery Jesus gives is interesting. He wasn't a lamb. Neither is he a lion He's a hen who gathers her chicks under her wings. There are a lot of stories about how a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. I'm certain some are "preacher stories," but I was raised on a small farm where we raised chickens. I've actually witnessed this. At the first sign of danger, seemingly magically with a few clucks, the little chicks identify their mother from the hundreds of other hens, and run under her. The mother hen squats and covers the chicks with her wings willing to sacrifice her life to save her chicks. This is the image Jesus gives and Jesus did sacrifice his life. Sadly, Jerusalem's religion rejected him no matter how loudly he "clucked."
Jesus literally wept over Jerusalem as he entered. We'll study this in chapter 19. Outside of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives is a place called Dominus Flevit. It's Latin for "The Lord wept." It's thought to be the spot where Jesus wept over Jerusalem as he entered. On the floor is a mosaic (picture ) of a hen gathering her chicks. Jesus wanted to gather and protect Jerusalem, but Jerusalem was not willing.
It's always been a love-hate relationship between God and his people. God loves them and attempts to come to them through messengers. They hate and reject the messengers and killed them. They did this to Jesus. The problem was with Jesus their protection was removed by his words. If you've attended Life Gate Church for any length of time, you know how this rolled out. In AD 70 the Roman General Titus and his armies laid Jerusalem desolate taking the temple apart stone by stone (Mat. 24:1-4) exactly as Jesus said all because they rejected Christ's love.
Luke 13:35 LOOK, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again UNTIL YOU SAY, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
God isn't finished with Israel. A day is coming when Israel realizes and recognizes Jesus as Christ/Messiah (Rom. 11:25-26). Until they do, it won't be good for Israel. How about America? How do you think America is doing? How about you?
There are five extremely sad words in verse 34 everyone who rejects Jesus will hear - "but you were not willing." Jesus wants to protect you. He wants to cover your life from life's desolation, but are you willing?
What's the vile Herod fox in your life? Tell that fox you must keep going today, tomorrow, and the next day. You will finish your goal.
Don't reject God's love. Find a messenger someplace you can hear God's love through. Don't kill him. Are you willing? Jesus certainly is!