Summary: Judgment Day will come. But we don't have to fear that day because Jesus overcame every obstacle to give His life for us on the cross.
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 said that this was somewhat unlikely. Another sixteen percent said it was very unlikely, and forty-one percent had no opinion. For the most part Americans are not too concerned about the end of the world or Judgment Day.
Yet this is the very thing that Jesus teaches about often. He mentions it two other times in this chapter. Look at verse five of chapter thirteen. Jesus is responding to a question about some people who died as martyrs and others who died suddenly when a tower fell upon them. “Where they worse sinners?” people asked Jesus. “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Here Jesus is showing us that life will come to an abrupt and devastating end unless we have God’s saving grace. Look now to verse 24. “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter (by some other way than faith in Jesus) and will not be able.” He goes on to say that those who are not in the saving grace of God will be separated from Him eternally. They will go to the place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!
God is going to sift all sinners. He will separate those who sins have been forgiven from those who have held on to their sins or denied any need for forgiveness.
2. God Desires All Men to Be Saved
Now before we leave this particular verse I want to focus on one more thing. Jesus says, “How often I would have gathered your children together…”