Summary: Lent 2(C) - God’s Lamb (Jesus) goes uncomplaining forth and even though mankind forsakes Jesus, Jesus does not forsake the sinner.
A LAMB GOES UNCOMPLAINING FORTH
March 12, 2006 - LENT 2 - Luke 13:31-35
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Dear Fellow-Redeemed and Saints of the Lord:
On this second Sunday in Lent we continue the journey to Jerusalem with Jesus. Jesus (along with the will of his heavenly Father) is determined that we will end up in Jerusalem on the cross being crucified for the sins of the world. When we look at Jesus and his earthly life, we mostly remember one thing--his humiliation. When Jesus lived here on earth he was not very often respected, but more often rejected. Jesus lived here, as we confess in the Apostles’ Creed, in a state of humiliation. It began at the time of conception when Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and suffered under Pontius Pilate. Jesus gave up everything and he knew that. In spite of all this, when Jesus walked and talked and preached among them, mankind did not appreciate his presence with them. This is nothing new. Isaiah had predicted the same things hundreds of years ago. Isaiah wrote: "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not" (Isaiah 53:3). We sang in our hymn, A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth. This is a good thought for us to hold on as we look at what God has to say to us this morning.
A LAMB GOES UNCOMPLAINING FORTH We learn again that:
I. Jesus is forsaken by mankind; but, thankfully,
II. Jesus does not forsake sinners
I. JESUS IS FORSAKEN BY MANKIND
In this portion of Jesus’ life he is in the region of Galilee. This is known as his Galilean ministry. From this region of Galilee Jesus will make the last few days’ journey into Jerusalem. In Galilee Jesus has lots of success. The people are happy to hear what Jesus has to say, and they are anxious to see some of his miracles. It is in this setting that our text begins: "At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, ’Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.’" You know the Pharisees were really aren’t friends of Jesus. They were always trying to find some way to agitate the crowd so that they might be against Jesus. On the day before Jesus’ crucifixion, they stirred up the crowd so that they would say, "Crucify him." So what does it seem they are really doing by seemingly warning Jesus about Herod? Jesus is in Galilee, a place where he is liked and the people were coming to hear him. The Pharisees are saying that Jesus should leave Galilee and go somewhere else. They really wanted Jesus to go to Jerusalem, because in Jerusalem the Pharisees have more power and control. In Galilee the Pharisees couldn’t do anything against Jesus.
But Jesus knows their thoughts and intentions. Jesus replied to them in the next verse: "Go tell that fox;" … and Jesus lists what he is going to do next. Jesus tells the Pharisees, "Sure, you want me to leave because Herod is going to kill me. You go back to report to Herod." Jesus knew they came not necessarily on behalf of Herod but on their own behalf knowing that in the end they would hand him over to Herod. The Roman government would put Jesus to death. The Roman government forsook Jesus. The Pharisees who were the leaders of the church forsook him. Yet, Jesus was going to go to Jerusalem according to his will. It was going to be a timeline of Jesus and not a timeline of the Herod or the Pharisees or not even Judas. They would all play a part in Jesus’ timeline. Jesus explains in our text. "In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day. He mentions a definite starting time and lists today, tomorrow and the next day. Earlier Jesus said the third day--a definite stopping point. For Jesus knew what was going to happen, didn’t he? Jesus adds, "For surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!" Jesus did die outside of the city walls of Jerusalem, but still in the area of Jerusalem. Jesus was now not very close to Jerusalem. He was in the region of Galilee. Jesus had to journey to Jerusalem to be put to death.
Then we see the sadness of Jesus not just for mankind, but also for his people. Not only was Jesus forsaken by the Roman government and by the leaders of the church, but by his own people. Jesus says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you." How sad! The history of the Israelites, the ones who were called God’s chosen people, his children, over and over again they were delivered from their enemies. We study this fact this morning in our Bible study today in the book of Numbers. God delivers them from the Egyptians, and they complain about the manna in the wilderness and complain against Moses and Aaron, their leaders. Later on Isaiah the prophet was raised up by God to bring God’s people back. They did not like him or Jeremiah, or any of the prophets. They grumble and complain, and now guess what? Jesus the prophet, sent to God’s people by God himself, is also put to death because he is forsaken and forgotten by mankind. The Roman government, the church government and even the people in the church forsake Jesus. Many rejected Jesus because they wanted him to be a powerful earthly king who would destroy the Roman government and put Herod in his place and put Pontius Pilate in his place and lead God’s people into a great earthly victory. Yet, that was not the purpose of Jesus.