Sermon:
Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!
March 4, 2007


Luke 13:31-35 31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you." 32 And he said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.' 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'"


On August 30, 2005 Coast Guard Lieutenant Iain McConnell was ordered to fly his H46 helicopter to New Orleans and to keep that machine flying around the clock for what would turn out to be a heroic rescue effort. None of his crew were prepared for what they were about to see. They were ahead of every news crew in the nation. The entire city of New Orleans was under water. On their first three missions that day they saved 89 people, three dogs and two cats.

In our Gospel lesson today we come face to face with the Son of God and with the greatest rescue effort of all time. All of Scripture points to this – Jesus would go to Jerusalem despite all obstacles in His way. He would go to suffer and die in order to save. The majority of His own people would reject Him. But that was also predicted long ago in Psalm 118: “The stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”

1. There Is a Day of Judgment Coming

Look again at verses 33-34: “Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.' 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!”

Jesus is referring to a coming day of judgment. He refers to the natural characteristic of hens who will vigorously protect their young. If there is a bird of prey about, they will cluck and call their chicks to find protection under her wings. After a devastating fire in Yellowstone National Park, a ranger found a dead, burned prairie chicken. When he kicked the carcass three little chicks came running out. They had survived the fire because their mother had given her life for them. There is a fire coming – a fire of God’s judgment.

USAToday and Gallup conducted a poll in which they asked Americans about the likelihood of an apocalyptic end of the world. Twenty-three responded that this was very likely. Sixteen percent