Luke13: 31-35

Written by kathleen on Feb 23, 2014 in - No Comments

Luke 13:31-35

FEAR NOT!

Many times in life we can become so consumed by fear that we are unable to even think straight. We make rash decisions or even refuse to make decisions because of fear.

We become so focused on what we perceive as our problems that they turn to fears because we have taken our eyes off of Christ. When we are faced with giving in to fear we need to be reminded of how our Lord met fear head on. As Jesus was making his way to Jerusalem, someone had asked whether there would only be a few people saved. Jesus had responded with some very disturbing words about the narrowness of the way leading to the kingdom of heaven saying (V.24),“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Now, further along on his journey yet on the very same day, some Pharisees came to pay Jesus a visit.

In verse 31 We are told, 31 “On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.” But Jesus didn’t let the Pharisee’s warning deter him from following what he knew was God’s will for his life.

People & or situations at times seek to frighten us — to deter us from fulfilling God’s purpose in our life. Therefore we must ask ourselves am I trusting the Lord and his purpose for my life?

Or am I running away in fear and being all tied up in knots?  Four Truths Concerning Giving In to fear. 1. Fear Will Be Victorious If We Allow Ourselves To Be Frightened Into Silence.

There were certain Pharisees that dwelt in Galilee, just as they were in all parts of the country and they were filled with indignation at Christ, in this case because of the parables he had delivered that day, the miracles he had done, and the harsh things he had said which they knew described them.

So they made a plan to get rid of him, by trying to frighten him with a threat from Herod the tetrarch to kill him if he continued there

They were possibly partnering with Herod partly because of the people, and partly because of the remaining uneasiness and fear in his mind, for taking off the head of John the Baptist:

So when the Pharisees appear with what seems to be some friendly advice “Leave this place and go somewhere else because Herod wants to kill you,” Jesus was not fooled!   “He was the gentle Lamb of God but even a lamb is suspicious of wolves who say their concerned for its safety.”

Were some of the Pharisees really sympathetically trying to protect Jesus? Or were they in fact acting as Herod’s messengers? Or was this a part of a plot to lure Jesus into Judea where the Sanhedrin exerted more power than in Herod’s territory?

Whatever their motivation may have been they hoped to frighten Jesus away with a threatening message.

While their statement looks like one of concern it is more likely just a diversion.

If they can get Jesus to leave; then it will eliminate Jesus’ call for repentance without anything more drastic having to be done. The enemies of Christ are still trying to bring this message of silence to his followers. Ranging from simply implying that Christianity is outdated and on the way out, to outright persecution in Third World Countries. Interestingly these diversions are motivated by fear and many times they are received in fear.

Jesus responds to that challenge in verse thirty-two,  32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’

  1. Fear Will Be Diminished If We Realize That Our Lives Are In God’s Hands

Why did Jesus call Herod a fox? In this context politically; fox refers to a “cunning but weak ruler” which is devious, sly, and destructive! (foxes were considered a nuisance)

We need to be aware that Satan can come at us as a fox as much as like a lion. We often wait and look for a lion to come along to attack!  When it may be a fox that is very cunning and a nuisance comes along; not to bring immanent danger but many times just to disrupt plans and get our eyes off Jesus!

Jesus laughs and says, “You go and tell that old fox. I was casting out demons yesterday; I’ll be healing the sick today, and tomorrow. And the third day, I’ll finish my course.” Jesus knew that his time had not yet come to leave this world.

His work was not yet completed. Until that time came, it was not within the power of his enemies to stop him. And when the third day did come; He would deal a deathblow to Satan and purchase eternal salvation and healing for mankind as He hung on the Cross of Calvary

When Jesus says in verse thirty-two, that on the “… third day I shall be perfected.’ The word “perfected” translates completed and finished. His ministry as appointed by God is not yet finished and until it is he is invincible!

No man can stop him not even Herod the king. The same is true of us today if we are living in the center of God’s will for our lives we are incapable of being concurred until we have carried out God’s plan and purpose for our lives, So what then is there to fear?

Jesus reminded his disciples in Matthew 10:30, “Are not two sparrow sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from the Father’s will. (30) But the very hairs of your head are numbered. (31) Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” The safest place in the world is in the center of God’s will. Isaiah 41:10  I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

This is why; as a believer we can hang on to and put all our faith in His promises found in the Bible like Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. The “third day” is an obvious reference to Christ’s resurrection, which brings us to the third truth. 3. Fear Will disappear if We Learn To Live Life From the Vantage Point Of Certain Victory

33 In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day-for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

Jesus knew that before long, He would reach the goal on the third day and resurrection would be His and He would have “reached the goal.”

Today when “playing it safe” seems to be the name of the game, even the smallest threat or hint of danger may be enough to deter us. We conclude that “the Lord has closed the door” when in fact he may only have purposed for us to step out on faith. So when the Lion of this world starts to roar we should get along side the Lion of Judah and run to the roar!

Jesus speaking to the sisters of Lazarus upon his death said in John 11:25), “ I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus knew that his death would come only in the city of Jerusalem, yet he continually made his way to Jerusalem. If death itself holds no fear what can defeat us?

The apostle Paul says some remarkable things concerning this in 1:Corinthians 15:53-55  “For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. When this happens – when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die – then at last the Scripture will come true: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.O Death where is your victory, O Death, where is your sting.” NLT When we see life from the broader perspective of eternity, we will see things differently. 4. The Most Fearful Thing of All Is to Make a Decision To Leave Jesus Out Of Our Lives.

Knowing Socrates was innocent of the charge of corrupting the youth of Athens, it is said that his executioner wept as he handed him the hemlock.  Here, however, the executioner doesn’t weep for the Condemned, the Condemned weeps for the executioners

34 “O 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, but you were not willing!

This is what G. Campbell Morgan called “the Mother heart of God.” God wants to save His people from the pain and suffering their sin will bring upon them.Just as a mother wants to always protect her child.

When a little chick is out running on its own, it is especially vulnerable. Anyone who has been around a farm “can tell stories of how hen’s frantically call to their chicks in order to shelter them under their wings when they sense approaching storms or dangers.  Jesus knew the troubles that would soon come upon Jerusalem.

Those troubles on the heart of Jesus would reach from the tearing of the veil in the temple at the time of His crucifixion to the destruction of the temple itself by the armies of Titus in A.D. 70.

He wanted to gather the people to himself that they might be saved.

But He knew they would not respond to Him any more than their forefathers had responded to the prophets.” Jesus says in verse 34, “I wanted . . . but you were not willing.”

This scripture places the responsibility of the loss of heaven distinctly on those who are lost” when He says, “I would … but you would not!” The “would not” is emphatic.

Jesus cries not because Jerusalem would reject Him, but because they wouldn’t allow Him to protect them.

Jesus knew the destruction and terror that would come upon Jerusalem. He knew that their only chance of avoiding that horror was to receive Him as He who comes in the name of the Lord

As you grow in your maturity in Christ there will come a time when you begin to see the destruction and terror that will come upon those you love and care about who choose not to follow Jesus (even strangers)

It is not our shortcomings or our failings that cause the Lord to weep. Rather, it is our failure to allow Him to love us that causes His tears to flow.

Are there things going on in your life that you’re not allowing God to be a part of – even as simple or complicated as it may be; have you allowed the Lord to do what He desires to do—that is to place His arm around you, to protect and comfort you from things that can cause harm stress and sleepless nights!    

The final words of verse thirty-five are very sad  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.’ 

When Jesus leaves the temple for the last time prior to the crucifixion it would truly be desolate.

Sacrifice and the observance of rituals continued in the temple for almost another 40 years until it was destroyed in A.D. 70. The sad part is; it would not be recognized nor accepted by God.

And like the mighty man Samson, the Jews were not aware and still are not aware that the Lord had departed from them as in Judges 16:20 when Delilah called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.

This chapter ends with a heartbreaking expression of grief. Jesus must accept, though with sadness, the fact that there are those who will not accept Him.

Jesus tells the Jews that only when they acknowledge him as the one sent from God will their desolation end.

His agony over Jerusalem and its hardness of heart is the same agony that He now has for the hardness of heart that keeps individuals today from accepting Him as Savior. There is coming a time when Jesus will return to this earth and every eye will see him and every knee will bow to him and every voice will proclaim him Lord, but then it will be too late. He will be returning in judgment!

Jesus also reveals something of the conditions surrounding His second coming. When He comes again the Jewish people will welcome Him as the Messiah, saying, and “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

This part of the verse sounds simple enough and brief enough and yet it is huge in the implications. These words gather up the whole history of the Jews.

Jesus repeats these exact words several months later inside Jerusalem. He says the very same thing as recorded in Matthew 23 But there’s more here than just a snapshot or a glimpse of a moment.

This is not about a moment of sadness or about a moment’s anger and it’s not about a moment’s hope as we see the Lord’s compassion and the passion for the Jews.

Looking again at this verse it’s not only the compassion of the Lord, but also the condemnation of the Lord in that very moment when He says “Behold your house is left to you desolate.”

desolate = barren or laid waste; devastated, deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited solitary; lonely: having the feeling of being abandoned by friends or by hope; forlorn, dreary; dismal; gloomy: (describes the life & feelings of someone who doesn’t know Jesus as their personal savior)

The Jewish people were dispersed in 70 A.D., those who survived. They were taken captive by Titus, many of them taken back to Rome to spend the rest of their lives as slaves and the nation of Israel ceased to exist as a nation.

Their house was left desolate. As Moses predicted in Deuteronomy, they were scattered among the nations. And they became a curse and were hated. And to the present day, the Jews are still experiencing hatred and animosity from the world.

As a people they have experienced horrible tragedies through the years. Unfortunately, much of the suffering that has been brought upon the Jews has been brought by the church or again, that big mustard tree and the birds that were in it.

It was the church that killed so many in the bloody Inquisition. The Jews looked upon Hitler as a Christian, one of the birds in the branches of the mustard tree. And so they blamed the Christians for the holocaust.

No wonder it is so difficult for us to reach the Jew because of so much that has been done to them by the so-called church of Jesus Christ.

But what they have experienced in the past is nothing to be compared with what they’re going to experience in the future.

They’ll come to the place of desperation under the reign of the antichrist and the persecution that will be brought by the antichrist; that they will be brought ultimately to the place where they’ll say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

A prophesy concerning this is found in Zech 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

So Jerusalem failed in the final opportunity that God gave to it, and as a result, the desolation until that day comes when they will say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

But this also shows the compassion of God for a rebellious unbelieving Israel. And that’s Grace! As He will gather them once again and then come for them!

The apostle Paul writes in Rom 9:24-25 a quote from Hosea 2 “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”  26 and, “It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,  they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'”  This is grace, For Christ came to die not only for the Jews, but the Gentiles also. Our hearts may be sad over the unbelief of Israel and over their rejection of Jesus; (and so is the heart of God.)

But our hearts can rejoice that God in His mighty great grace has overcome our own sinfulness and brought us to the Savior. And so while we may be sad over what’s happened to them, we can be glad because of God’s grace for us.

 Ps 112:1-8 – Praise the LORD.

Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands.  2 His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright  will be blessed.  3 Wealth and riches are in his house and his righteousness endures forever. 4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. 5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. 6 Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. 7 He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. 8 His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

NIV