Thursday 27 August 2015

Bible Book:

“Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day, I finish my work.’” (v. 32)

Luke 13:31-35 Thursday 27 August 2015

Psalm: Psalm 75:1-7


Were these Pharisees genuinely concerned for the safety of Jesus- or was this a trap? Either way, they indicated that they hadinformation that Herod wanted to kill Jesus; Jesus took theopportunity to send a message back. Luke's Gospel consistentlyportrays the Pharisees as hostile to Jesus and seeking to trap himin something he might say (Luke11:53-54). However, there were also those sympathetic to him(cf Luke 23:50-51; Acts5:33-40).

There are four references to Herod Antipas in Luke's Gospel.None is particularly flattering: this was a man who had seduced hisbrother's wife and done other "evil things" (Luke3:19); he tried to meet Jesus, concerned that Jesus may havebeen John the Baptist restored to life (Luke9:7-9); and finally, on meeting Jesus and frustrated by Jesus'silence, he mocked and ridiculed him (Luke23:8-11).

The reference to Herod as a fox (verse 32) is not flattering.For both Greek and Jew, the fox was synonymous with cunning andslyness. It was a term of derision in the writing of the prophet,Nehemiah (Nehemiah 4:3), where it is said that even a foxcould break down the walls being built round Jerusalem!

Jesus, on his way to Jerusalem, conscious that his ministry wasapproaching its climax, was not going to be deflected by threats.There was little time to spare: Jerusalem was where the actionwould be as it always had been. The reference to three days (verse32) has clear resonances for Christians, but it also indicated ashort period of time.

The image of the hen gathering her chicks under her wingsgathers force from the earlier reference to the fox. Jesus' lamentover Jerusalem is only recorded by Luke; it suggests that Jesus hadbeen in Jerusalem on other occasions; that he would now be leavingand then returning for what would be his final entry (verse 35).There are intriguing gaps in the accounts of Jesus' ministry.

To Ponder

  • How easy do you find it to discern the genuine from the falsein the church/community/society? Have you ever been 'fooled'?
  • If you believe those in authority to be corrupt, what are themost effective ways to challenge them?
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