4 November 2011Luke 13:31-35
"Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord." (v. 35)
Continuing his journey towards Jerusalem, Jesus is warned by
some Pharisees about Herod's plan to kill him. Perhaps these
Pharisees realised that they were closer to Jesus in their thinking
and believing than to Herod and genuinely wanted to warn him. Or
perhaps they were sent by Herod as his agents in the hope of
frightening Jesus into moving out of the area.
Herod was described as a "fox" (v. 32); a term used to describe some who was insignificant and worthless, as well as sly and cunning. Jesus makes it clear to the Pharisees that they can return and tell Herod that Jesus will continue his ministry and that whatever Herod was planning was insignificant as the work he (ie Jesus) had to do would be completed. God, not Herod would determine his course and his death.
Jesus then thinks about Jerusalem with mixed feelings; those of tenderness towards the people who he wanted to gather to himself yet at the same time knowing that it was they who had and would continue to reject him. "Your house is left to you" (v. 35) implies that the household, and perhaps the whole of Jerusalem, has been forsaken by God as a result of their disobedience and lack of response to God in Jesus. As God's presence can be found in Jesus we are reminded that Jerusalem will only see God again when Jesus returns for the final Passover event when the people will echo the words of Psalm 118:26: "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord".
In this passage we see Jesus' compassion and longing for the people of Jerusalem and we are drawn into his grief over the people not willing to accept him. There is little time left for them to decide how to react when he comes.
All over the world people are being blessed by those who "come in the name of the Lord" but we hardly ever hear about them. It seems as if the mainstream media only want to tell stories that sadden us and make us feel fearful about the future. It should be possible for us to be a reminder about the good that there is in the world and the signs of the kingdom of God that can be seen and to be a blessing ourselves.
What causes you to feel grief?
Spend some time today offering to God your town, city or village. What signs of God's presence do you see there? And what is it that concerns you?
Give thanks for those who have been a blessing to you and look for ways of being a blessing to those you meet today.