Luke 13.31-35 — Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem

A real surprise. Some Pharisees come to Jesus to warn him of an assassination plot at the hands of Herod. To me it’s interesting, because here’s an easy way to eliminate “the problem of Jesus.” If they wanted him dead, they just needed to step back and let Herod do the dirty work. It shows, interestingly enough, that some Pharisees were sympathetic, and that when Jesus denounced the Pharisees, he was not denouncing all of them, but only the guilty ones. We know that Pharisees Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were not only sympathetic, but also believers. Though no one is mentioned by name here, it’s possible there were other Pharisee believers.

We’re not told why Herod wanted to kill Jesus. Perhaps he saw him as a potential political competitor, though more likely he viewed him as a moral threat.

Again, Jesus shows no fear, and he’s not intimidated in the least. His message: “I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.” And then he makes a very veiled reference to the resurrection. I love this guy; he ALWAYS has his head on straight. He’s going to Jerusalem, where Herod is, not concerned in the least about the threat on his life. He knows the prophecies and what will take place. Herod is a piece of straw to Jesus.

The incident turns his thoughts to the people of Jerusalem, and how godless leaders have led them astray. His love for them overwhelms him. Despite their sin, Jesus wants them back. He is always seeking, and always trying to reconcile. That’s what Rom. 5.8 and Jn. 3.16 say. He speaks as if he was watching when the prophets were killed, and his heart was breaking over it. Then he uses a metaphor of God as a female, wanting to gather her children in compassion and safety.

“But they were not willing.” Again, we find that it’s the people’s response that matters. God doesn’t send people to hell; they choose it. God doesn’t reject people—they reject Him. He will take anyone who will come to Him. All they have to be is willing.

“Look, your house is left to you desolate.” Since you chased out and killed all the redeeming factors in your city, (1) don’t blame God for his absence, (2) no wonder you are getting taught lies, and (3) the city (country) is spiritually bankrupt. Simple cause and effect. You made your bed, you lie in it. This reminds me of when something like 9/11 happens, or the shooting of innocent school children in Newtown, CT, and people are very quick to accuse and say, “Where was God?” (1) You haven’t paid attention to God in a long time, (2) you teach lies to people (3) the country is spiritually bankrupt, but now you ask, “Hey, where’s God?” It’s bald-faced hypocrisy.

Jesus never stays where he is not wanted. We’ve seen it before. The consistency is thorough.

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