Summary: How does true love operate? Does it leave people with their demons, unhealed and hurting themselves? Does true love sacrifice even for people who initially reject it? Let’s find out by looking at Luke 13:31-35.
How does true love operate? Does it leave people with their demons, unhealed and hurting themselves? Does true love sacrifice even for people who initially reject it? Let’s find out by looking at Luke 13:31-35.
Luke 13:31 Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, “Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You.”
This does not seem to be true, because Herod had not even wanted to kill John, but was forced to do so by circumstances. Perhaps these Pharisees were trying to scare Jesus off.
Luke 13:32 And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox [lit. vixen, female fox], ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’
Casting out demons and healing are prophetic of two important missions of the kingdom of God. Jesus will displace Satan as a power in this present world, and He will heal the world. This He also accomplishes in our lives. Jesus casts the evil one out and heals our souls.
A fox picks on small farm animals like hens. So, Jesus called Herod Antipas a fox, a cowardly predator, like his father Herod the Great who once murdered innocent children trying to kill Jesus as a little child. Jesus was probably also comparing Herod with Jerusalem, who murdered the prophets.
Jesus insults Herod Antipas further by using the feminine of fox, a vixen. He is implying that Herod is not a real man, because he victimizes the weak. Not intimidated in the slightest, Jesus tells the Pharisees, he has three days work left and then he’ll be done, not before.
Luke 13:33 Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.
Jesus repeats the little time He has left. It cannot be? It’s almost as if Jesus is saying with a sigh of resignation, that it would not be right for a prophet to be killed anywhere but Jerusalem. Only the supreme court at Jerusalem could sentence a prophet to death.
Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!
Jesus says words he will repeat later, O Jerusalem. How often indeed had Jesus as God of the Old Testament also visited Jerusalem? But they did not want God then either. This is the dismal freedom of human will, we can choose to reject God. Here we understand God’s love.
Luke 13:35 Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
Jerusalem is left desolate, or left to itself, a nest of scoundrels, the glory of God and His temple soon gone. Our sins make us like Jerusalem who killed the prophets. We look at the world and its troubles, a world without Jesus. Jesus willingly died for Jerusalem and us.
The predators of our world see Jesus and his love as a threat, because they only care for themselves. Jesus does not see sinners as outsiders, but as chicks to be gathered, as people who need their demons cast out and to be healed. That is how true love operates.
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