The Ultimate Goal
Mighty Lord God, marvelous are Your deeds, just and true are Your ways. I give You all my praise.
Read Luke 13:31-35
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Obedience is the eardrum of spiritual hearing” (Unknown). If we want to hear from God, we must be willing to obey.
What motivated the Pharisees to warn Jesus about Herod (31)? After all, they saw Jesus as a rival (Luke 11:53,54). Why not step back and let the upstart from Nazareth dig his own grave? Perhaps even his opponents had some level of respect for Jesus and his message (John 12:42). But viewed from this side of the cross, we also understand that God had a particular way for his Son to die, a way that would perfectly deal with the sin of the world.
That’s the ultimate goal Jesus had in mind (32). The geographical destination was Jerusalem, but the goal was to complete God’s plan of salvation. Jesus was unafraid of Herod’s threat because he completely trusted his heavenly Father. Jesus knew that no threat, no king, not even death itself could thwart God’s plan. It raises an important question: is my decision-making influenced more by a fear of the bad things that might happen, or a confidence that God has a plan for my life no matter what else happens?
Jesus was also realistic about the realities of this fallen world (33); how many prophets had died in Jerusalem? Beneath his sarcasm was a lament for that city where God had made his presence most dramatically known (1 Kings 8:1-13). The heartbreak for Jesus was that Jerusalem was about to become the place where humans would most thoroughly reject God’s love. Today, many are offended by the notion that God would condemn anyone, and when Jesus uses the image of a mother hen gathering her chicks (34), we realize that God’s desire is that no one should perish (2 Pet. 3:9), that all would enjoy close fellowship with him. The tragedy is that some are “not willing” (34).
Are there any among your friends and family who seem unwilling to respond to God’s good news? Pray for them, asking God to use you as his ambassador.
Lord Jesus, Your courage and compassion amaze and challenge me. Give me Your heart for those who do not know You.
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