If people around the world including Christians knew the real Jesus, how differently would they act?
Do we see Jesus and his message as a threat or do we allow him to embrace us?
We will look at Luke 13:31-35 and Jesus’ description of the threat from Herod and Jesus’ desires for Jerusalem.
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.” 32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! 34 “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, and you were not willing. 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.’”
Are we Tempted to Cut and Run?
When some Pharisees suggested to Jesus that Herod was out for his blood, what did Jesus do? Many of us would be tempted to disappear, but not Jesus. His answer was to outline his schedule and say that he was sticking to it. This reveals the deep commitment and courage of our Savior. While Herod described himself as a lion, Jesus put it in eternal perspective as a mere cowardly fox chasing baby chickens. Do we have the courage to endure even though we know that impending events will bring certain death? Which popular celebrity, political candidate or billionaire can you name who is willing to go to the cross for you and me? We only have one Savior, Jesus.
Why does the Media Bully Christians?
The powers that be do not like the Gospel of Jesus. Herod Antipas was a political bully who threatened the life of Jesus, like a fox threatens a hen. And like a hen gathers her chicks, Jesus longed to protect his people, but they were not willing. Harassment of Christ and the bullying of those who come in his name are normal. Jesus said that Jerusalem would not see him again until they say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Those who come in the name of Jesus Christ should expect a rude welcome from politicians and the media. How do we in the church treat those who come in the name of the Lord?
What did 3 blindfolded men see?
3 men were blindfolded and asked to touch an elephant. One touched its trunk and said it was a snake. One touched a leg and said it was a tree. One touched its tail and said it was a rope. Only when the blindfolds were removed did they see the whole elephant. Some people see Jesus as a threat to their religion. Some seem his message as a threat to political power. Others see him as a meal ticket and treat him and his church as prey. But those who see him as he really is, the healer of all humanity are willingly gathered together by Jesus Christ as a hen gathers her chicks. Do we see all of Jesus?
3 Wishes, a Fox & a Hen
Luke 13 has a tale of three wishes in the original Greek. The first was Herod’s, who wished to kill Jesus. The second was Jesus’, who wished to embrace Jerusalem like a hen gathers her chicks. The third was Jerusalem’s children, who wished not to be embraced by Jesus. Jesus said that Herod was a fox. Predatory leaders of industry and government may threaten us, but cannot do what God will not allow. A fox threatens us even today, but God is in control. A predator only see little ones as a meal. Jerusalem’s chicks did not wish for the hen’s protection. Do we think that a fox has our interests at heart or will we gather under Jesus’ wings?
Jesus does not see the weak and needy as outsiders, but as chicks to be gathered and protected. The predators of our world see Jesus and his methods as a threat, because they only care for themselves.
References: Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.; Wilkins, Michael J. Matthew. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004.; Nolland, J. Vol. 35B: Word Biblical Commentary : Luke. 2002. Dallas: Word, Incorporated. 497.; R.T. France. NICNT. The Gospel of Matthew; William L. Lane. NICNT. The Gospel of Mark; Green, Joel B. NICNT. The Gospel of Luke; J. Ramsey Michaels. NICNT. The Gospel of John. Grand Rapids, Mich. W.B. Eerdmans. 2007; 1974; 1997; 2010.; Brian Stoffregen. Exegetical Notes. crossmarks.com/brian/