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!”
At that time some Pharisees said to him, “Get away from here if you want to live! Herod wants to kill you!”
32 Jesus replied… “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose. 33 Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must proceed on my way. For it wouldn’t do for a prophet of God to be killed except in Jerusalem! 34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. 35 And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
Context and Content
In reading this passage from Luke's gospel, Jesus certainly knew that Herod’s threats were not meaningless, but that they were the same control and intimidation tactics he always used for stirred up Jews.
Perhaps Jesus also discerned that the Pharisees wanted Jesus to stop doing what He was doing and perhaps were trying to “fake news” Jesus.
Regardless, right here in this exchange is where we would do well to see something that is so much needed today. It is not that Jesus is unfazed by Herod’s threats (real or not) - as much as it is that He is laser-focused on fulfilling His calling and finishing His mission. That train had already left the station, and at that point there was nothing going to stop Jesus.
Listen again to His response: “You can tell that fox, I’m casting out demons and healing the sick for the next two days, and the third day I’m going to finish what I started.” (13:32–33).
To me, is it striking for Jesus to have that kind of response under the super-intensity of being told that the very person who had be-headed your cousin was now wanting to kill you! Wow…
I can only ask myself, “Have you ever been that focused or committed to a mission or calling like that”? It’s not just the sheer will and determination that’s impressive for me - it is the fearless and forceful resolve.
Here is what I came to do - here is how I'm going to do it - and by the way, I’m on the clock - here is my timeline.
Excuse me? Was Jesus giving us all “one more three”?
Of course He was...
There is some small variation as to when Jesus spoke these words - but there is no doubt or dispute that He spoke them. The dialogue and its participants dictate that it was not while He was in Jerusalem during Passover.
John's Gospel details the most accounts of Jesus being in Jerusalem. John recalls Jesus being at 3 Passover’s, two other Festivals his 3 years of ministry.
So, if you add His last Passover visit and His first (baptized by John his cousin in the Jordan), then Jesus was in Jerusalem at least five times in the three years of His ministry.
However, because of the intensity of the moment, more than likely this conversation with the Pharisees happened in the days leading up to His final Passover. Probably the week before.
Look at verses 34, 35 in this passage.
If you think for few moments about what Jesus told the Pharisees He would be doing for three days - defeating darkness - bring hope and healing - and finishing His mission.
It all connects directly to what actually happened for the Jewish people and the 3-day window they would have with Jesus.
They used that Passover window of three days to arrest, condemn, crucify and bury Him. He used those three days to become their forever Passover. The Jewish people were all gathered in Jerusalem, the place where Jesus would save and deliver them - they would not let Him.
During those three final days Jesus though in His grave, He was indeed bringing deliverance and casting out demons and darkness - He was indeed bringing hope and healing, and of course on day three He was finishing that work through the power of HIs resurrection.
Wrap your mind around that.
The connections of this rather abrupt but poignant conversation and the Messianic and Resurrection implications are still amazing to me.
I get there has always been the existing elements of the mysteries of the sacraments.
As a seeker of truth - I count on those mysteries.
But which of us, knowing what we know about ourselves can truly say they understand the grace and love freely extended for our redemption and salvation?
Having processed that, you can't pursue Jesus without also realizing the transparency and full disclosure that was continually shown through His every action and through every word that came out of His mouth.
In every way possible, to both His followers and His enemies, He proclaimed Himself as God's revelation to the human heart. "I'm going to cast out demons, heal the sick, and finish this mission." That is not a mystery.
Under stress and duress, in the face of threats and death He just kept revealing Himself to us so that we might be saved.
And here we are... It’s just, time.
Luke gives us one more chance to hear Jesus give us one more three.
Urgency is not the same as panic. We know what panic is - we have all witnessed it first-hand on the world stage these past two months. urgency is something different. The words we have just read from Jesus were urgent.
In those words, to Herod and the Pharisees, He remind us that he is the Master of Time - not just our earthly time, but all of time and timelessness.
Jesus came into time from timelessness to give us the hope of what is timeless - eternity.
When you and I honestly seek Him and His Kingdom and faithfully tell others about why and what we are seeking we are on the clock and God knows the timeline. What does that mean? How about this? Its just - time.
IT’S NOT PANIC TIME - IT’S JUST, TIME
“Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose.”
· Time for Discernment and Demonstration - Over Demonic Forces and the Evil Opposition
· Time for Healing and Hope - For Our Sick and Suffering
· Time for Fulfillment and Finish - Of Our Calling and Mission
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