Summary: Taking a look at the reaction of the Pharisees to Jesus healing on the Sabbath and the eternal nature of Christ revealed in His, "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem" monologue.
This is the second week of the Lenten season and in the Scripture we are about to look at we see an incident that took place as Jesus was headed for Jerusalem in order to complete the work for which He came to earth.
We know that Jesus was headed to Jerusalem because
it says back in Luke 9:51
“As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”
Some translations say that, “He set His face to go to Jerusalem.”
I love that imagery! He was determined! He was resolute! He was intently, perseveringly, purposefully, single-mindedly, tenaciously, unfalteringly, unflinchingly, unwaveringly headed for Jerusalem! There was nothing, absolutely nothing in this universe that could stop Him from reaching Jerusalem and fulfilling His purpose of making a way for our salvation!
And, the main Scripture for this morning speaks about just such a case where it would have been easy for Jesus to take a detour from His trip to Jerusalem.
“At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to Him, ‘Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill You.’
“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!
“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. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
Now, if you read the preceding verses of the 13th chapter of Luke you will find that Jesus had preached about repentance, He has healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath day, He told a parable about the Kingdom of God and He told another parable about what it takes to be saved and the tragic end for those who are not saved.
Probably the most upsetting thing for the rulers of the Synagogue in this series of events was the healing on the Sabbath. After this exchange the common people were delighted and the leaders of the Synagogue were humiliated because their selfish motives had been revealed. So, it’s not a big surprise that the religious rulers told Jesus to basically “get lost, take a hike!”
We see again in verse 13 it says
“At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to Him, ‘Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill You.’”
Now, were the Pharisees really interested in Jesus’ welfare? They are indicating that they have some insider knowledge that Herod wishes to kill Jesus. But was that true? Herod did finally get to see Jesus and his initial reaction was not to kill Jesus but something quite different.
It says in Luke 23:8
“When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see Him. From what he had heard about Him, he hoped to see Him perform some miracle.”
Now, that’s rather odd, isn’t it, that the rulers said that Herod wanted to kill Jesus but we find that Herod was actually looking forward to seeing Jesus. However, in all fairness, Herod was initially very concerned that Jesus might be John the Baptist resurrected from the dead. So, we don’t know how Herod was feeling about Jesus at this particular point in time. All we know is what the Pharisees said.
Now, if the Pharisees really knew of Herod’s plans and wanted to help Jesus avoid Herod’s grasp it seems as if they would have given Him some direction as to how to avoid Herod’s men.
For instance if they knew that Herod’s men were coming from the south the might have advised Jesus to head north, east or west. But they didn’t.
They just said, “Leave this place and go somewhere else!” In other words, “Just get out of here, we’ve had enough of you and you parables and miracles.”
Do you ever react like the Pharisees did when someone (or the Holy Spirit) confronts you about sin in your life?
I remember an incident decades ago in another church where a man who was a gentle, quiet, Christ following widower was courting a lady who was separated from her husband and not yet divorced.
I am assuming that this lady was divorcing because of unfaithful-ness by her husband but I do not know. Anyway, a church member, a very gentle and quiet church member when to him and asked if he should be dating a married woman.