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Summary: Jesus' lament over Jerusalem as set forth in Luke 13:31-35 shows us Jesus' loving determination to die in Jerusalem for his people.

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Scripture

Jesus is still on his way to Jerusalem from Galilee. He only has a few months left to live. He knows that he is going to Jerusalem to pay the penalty for people’s sin by his death. He will sacrifice his life in order to reconcile sinners with a holy God.

Along the way Jesus is told that Herod wants to kill him. Undeterred, Jesus insists that he will fulfill the mission given to him by God to seek and to save the lost by dying for them in the city of Jerusalem.

Let’s read about Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem in 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 were not willing! 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!’ ” (Luke 13:31-35)

Introduction

In Time magazine’s regular column, “10 Questions,” readers are given the opportunity to interview celebrities and world leaders through questions submitted via e-mail. In the March 22, 2010, issue of Time, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, author of Made for Goodness, was featured. Here are two questions readers submitted, each followed by Archbishop Tutu’s answer:

Time: After all you’ve seen and endured, are you really as optimistic as your book, Made for Goodness, says you are?

Tutu: I’m not optimistic, no. I’m quite different. I’m hopeful. I am a prisoner of hope. In the world, you have very bad people – Hitler, Idi Amin – and they look like they are going to win. All of them – all of them – have bitten the dust.

Time: What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

Tutu: Romans 5:8. “[While] we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It sums up the Gospel wonderfully. We think we have to impress God so that God could love us. But he says, “No, you are loved already, even at your worst.”

In his answers to Time magazine, Archbishop Tutu summarized Jesus’ own attitude. Jesus knows that there are very bad people in the world, and they will not overcome the love of God that is so marvelously displayed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus knows that he will indeed fulfill the mission that God had given to him to die for his people.

Lesson

The analysis of Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem as set forth in Luke 13:31-35 shows us Jesus’ loving determination to die in Jerusalem for his people.

Let’s use the following outline:

1. Jesus’ Message to His Enemies (13:31-33)

2. Jesus’ Message to Jerusalem (13:34-35)

I. Jesus’ Message to His Enemies (13:31-33)

First, let’s look at Jesus’ message to his enemies.

Notice the context of Jesus’ message to his enemies. Jesus has been traveling from Galilee to Jerusalem. While traveling he has been giving people a series of warnings and various instructions. He had just warned people of the danger of being excluded from the kingdom of God, and urged people to be sure that they have entered the kingdom of God through the narrow door of faith and repentance (Luke 13:22-30).

While Jesus was warning people of the danger of being excluded from the kingdom of God, at that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you” (13:31).

Now, this was a credible threat. Herod had already killed John the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-12). Jesus’ immense popularity among the people posed a huge threat to Herod, who had no qualms about eliminating rivals, opponents, or even family.

But why did the Pharisees inform Jesus of Herod’s threat? We know from Luke 11:54 that for many months now the Pharisees were “lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.” Some commentators think that the Pharisees were conspiring with Herod to get rid of Jesus. Other commentators think that at least some of the Pharisees were sympathetic to Jesus and his message. Regardless of their motive, however, Herod’s threat to kill Jesus was real.

So, how did Jesus respond to his enemies?

A. Jesus’ Message to Herod (13:32)

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