Jesus, Friend, help me to slow down and focus on You.
Read Luke 13:31–35
Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem
31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’[a]”
a Luke 13:35 Psalm 118:26
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever been late to something important? How did it impact you?
The white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland is fearful of being late and rushes down a hole in a panic. But Jesus is not to be panicked into acting in a hurry (31, 32)! A lot is going on here. There’s Herod, the politically minded, pompous puppet king (31) who is prepared to murder prophets – he has already had the head of John the Baptist delivered on a plate. There is Jerusalem, over which Jesus weeps, longing to bring comfort like a mother hen, yet knowing that Jerusalem will refuse his invitation and also doesn’t hesitate to murder prophets (34). Overarching all is God’s timing and planning, meaning that Jesus will continue on as before (32), using the time allotted by God both for his ministry and for his death and resurrection. Jesus was following the divine plan to rescue the world, and he was not going to speed it up or cut it short just because Herod threatened him.
It underlines the importance of why he came and why he died, of the utter significance of the foreordained design. And so Jesus longs for everyone to respond to his call (29, 34b). Don’t panic, but on the other hand, it’s an urgent call, because the time is limited (25, 35).
Your time is also limited. We don’t know when our last day on earth might be. What are you going to do with your time? Read John 9:4 in addition to today’s passage.
Dear Jesus, my friends… have not responded to You and entered through the narrow gate. Open their hearts today.