Monday, July 4, 2016

Luke 13:31-35

Luke 13:31-35
In that hour, some Pharisees came while saying to Him, “Go out and depart from this place, because Herod desires to kill you.”  And He said to them, “After going, say to that fox, ‘I cast out demons and I complete healings this day and tomorrow and I am being finished on the third day.  Nevertheless, it is necessary for me to depart on this day and tomorrow and the ones that I have because it is not permitted for a prophet to be destroyed outside of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and who stones the ones who have been sent to her!  How often did I desire to gather your children in a manner as a hen gathers her brood under her wings!  And you did not desire it!  Behold.  Your house is being sent away.  I say to you that you all should surely not see me until it will come that you say, ‘The one who comes in the name of the Lord has been blessed!’”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

This passage begins with an interesting interaction.  Some Pharisees come to Jesus and tell Him to leave because Herod wants him dead.  What makes this interesting is that the Pharisees and other religious leaders have been looking to kill Jesus, too.  So why would they warn Him?  Remember, although the Pharisees in general get a bad reputation for being antagonistic to Jesus, there were some in the Sanhedrin who were open to his message, people like Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus come to mind.  There may have been some Pharisees who didn’t agree with Jesus but they didn’t want to see him killed, either.  What this tells us is that we need to be careful when we stereotype.  Yes, in general the Pharisees desired Jesus’ death.  But there were some that cared enough for His life that they wanted to warn Him.  A friend can often be made in the camp of an enemy if we are willing to consider the possibility.

Have you ever found friends in the camps of enemies?  Why is it dangerous to stereotype?  What happens to our ability to obey God as we stereotype more?

Second Thought:

Jesus gives a brief and complicated message to be delivered to Herod.  Of course, Jesus hints at the three-day trial in His words.  But more deeply, notice that Jesus talks as though there will be a time when His work stops.  He is warning Herod and the people around him that there is a limited amount of time to listen.  At some point, Christ is going to go away and He will not be able to be seen again.  Granted, His work continues through the Holy Spirit and His disciples.  But Jesus Himself is going to go away.  The same thing is true for us as well.  People who bring God’s truth into our life will not be there forever.  They will come and go.  We have a limited time to humble ourselves and learn what God has to teach us.  God will always be there for us to turn to, naturally.  But the people that He sends into our life will not be there forever.  We should make the best of His provision as we can.

Do you make the most of the people that God sends into your life?  How do you prepare yourself to be open and listen?  How do you prepare yourself so that other people can learn from you?

Third Thought:

Jesus ends this passage with a mourning glance towards Jerusalem.  Time and time again Jerusalem has turned aside, sent away, or even killed the very people sent to bring God’s message to them.  They will do it once more with Christ.  Again, remember what we just learned about stereotyping.  There are people inside Jerusalem who do respond to Christ.  But the vast majority of these people will be shouting for His death and looking upon Him with scorn and shame.  The city that was supposed to be the center of godly living, righteous behavior, and justice becomes a place centered on its own prosperity, its own significance, and its own desires.

When have you gotten your focus wrong and missed what God is doing in your life?  How do you correct those moments?  When have you seen large groups of people do the same thing?  Why do you think that this happens?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 14:1-6
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