1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of Luke, The Name Calling Jesus - Lesson 174

 

Luke 13:31-35,  The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. 32And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. 33Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. 34O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! 35Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 

This passage starts with a time reference as we are told that this happens the same day that Jesus Christ had warned about the strait gate and the inability of many to enter in thereat.

 

Here we are told, some of the many on the broad way, some of those unable to enter into the strait gate, confront the Lord with a warning of their own, a warning to get out of town. 

 

Get out of Galilee because Herod will kill you. 

 

We see in this warning a union between those of the broad way and the authority placed in that area by Rome, Herod Antipas. 

 

A joining if you please, of those on the broad way against those on the narrow way, but especially against the one who leads them, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

We know from Luke 13:22 that Jesus Christ is journeying toward Jerusalem teaching and ministering as He goes. 

 

He has a God established appointment in Jerusalem which is included in the imperative of Christ whereby ďI must be about my Fatherís business.Ē 

 

But he has no intention of keeping that appointment one day early or one day late for there is the Fatherís work to be done on the way to Jerusalem. 

 

And He will keep that appointment exactly as His Father determines.

 

He will keep that appointment according to the Fatherís timing and at all costs, and that cost will include his death and shed blood on the cross of Calvary.

 

In a sense, the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ from Jerusalem is the closing of the door, the closing of the strait gate, which he has urged His listeners to pass through. 

 

I know that this strait gate applies to all on this earth but the preaching of Christ at this time relative to the strait gate was especially relevant to the Jews. 

 

For he was calling upon all who heard him to strive to enter the strait gate. 

 

Jerusalem was at hand and the door would soon close on Israel.  

 

For these words of Christ apply specifically to the Jews where he tells them:  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

 

How proud the Jews were of their supposed status before God and how surprised they would be at being denied entrance into the kingdom of God. 

 

They would be allowed to see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom but they themselves would be thrust out as strangers. 

 

In spite of Christís appeal to repent and enter the strait gate there were those who wanted to do away with him for he was a threat to their position and power. 

 

And one of those who was threatened was Herod Antipas the tetrarch who was ruler of the area of Galilee and Perea.   

 

This was the region that Jesus had spent much time in and was now traveling on his way to Jerusalem.

 

Herod Antipas ruled for 43 years beginning his reign in 4 B.C. and would end it in 39 A.D.

 

We learned from Luke 3:1, Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene.

Rome, under the emperor Tiberius Caesar, had divided Israel into four areas, Judaea, Galilee, Ituraea, and Abilene, and each area was ruled by a tetrarch, which means the ruler of a fourth part of a country.

 

Herod Antipasí father was Herod the Great who was so fearful of losing his territory that he was threatened by the birth of the baby Jesus which drove him to order the death of innocent children.

 

Herod Antipas, his son, had that same kind of character and feared any threat to his authority.

 

So we are told in this passage that some Pharisees arrived, with news of Herodís intention to put Jesus to death.

 

And because of this the best course of action would be to leave Herodís area, Galilee, as quickly as possible.

 

The normal place to go after leaving Galilee would be to go to Judea and then Jerusalem.

 

But Jesus Christ had no intention of leaving the ministry that His Father had laid out for him because of a threat, even a threat of death. 

 

This was not a friendly delegation that had brought this warning for the Pharisees were no friend of Jesus Christ. 

 

We have already seen on many occasions the hatred expressed for this man who threatened the Phariseeís very livelihood.

 

We know that the chief priests and the Pharisees will gather in council and say:

 

John 11:48,  If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

 

Jesus does not thank them for this warning for he knows that it is conspiratorial of them to bring the warning for they have the same desires as Herod. 

 

Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

 

Christís response and direction to return with a message to Herod shows that Jesus knew there was a close relationship between those who brought the message and Herod the tetrarch. 

 

In most things Herod and the Pharisees were opposed to each other. 

 

They were far apart in the area of religion. 

 

Herod represented Rome which was their most hated enemy and oppressor.

 

But they were able to come together when it came to their opinion about Jesus Christ. 

 

It is amazing how different factions who can hate each other in most things can unite when it comes to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

Those who have entered the strait gate and are walking the narrow way will see how true this is when we come to this earth with Him at His second coming.

 

So we see a union of those who are normally apart coming together against the threat of this Jesus who preaches such contemning words against both the Pharisees and Herod.

 

Both wanted Jesus to go to Judea. 

 

The warning was to get out of town for your own good. 

 

But it reality it was to get out of town for their good. 

 

Get out of Galilee to stave off political trouble with Rome for Herod and get out of town to Jerusalem so the Pharisees could deal with him on their home turf. 

 

Herod had already murdered John the Baptist and no doubt was feeling the heat of this murder. 

 

We do not know what his conscience was doing to him but perhaps he could not stand having another murder on his conscience. 

 

If he could get rid of Jesus and let others deal with him the better it would be for him.

 

The Pharisees also wanted Jesus to go to Judea and specifically Jerusalem where their influence was far more powerful than anywhere else. 

Cowards love company and there were many more cowards in Jerusalem then there were in Galilee.

 

But Jesusí answer to this pressure included referring to Herod as ďthat fox,Ē which is not an endearing term by any measure.

 

Jesus Christ in his ministry did not hesitate to call people by names which was a reflection of their heart for he knew Herodís heart.

In chapter 23 of the Gospel of Matthew Christ calls the scribes and Pharisees names 16 times.

He calls them "hypocrites" 7 times, "son of Hell" once,"blind guides" twice, "fools and blind" 3 times, "whited sepulchers" once, "serpents" once, and "offspring of vipers" once.

The Apostle John calls certain persons liars, and antichrists. 

Paul also calls names when he calls people hypocritical liars, and fools, gossips and busybodies. 

We therefore can conclude that accurate name-calling is a virtue, not a sin.

By these examples of scripture Christians are right when they  identify by name the false teachers who prey upon the innocent and unlearned.

Here in our passage we hear Jesus Christ call Herod ďthat foxĒ no doubt to point out Herodís slyness, Herodís craftiness.

 

Jesus saw through Herodís trick.

 

He saw his use of others to try to scare him away from the territory under his control while suggesting that they give him a friendly warning and all the time Herod himself remaining in the background.

 

The response of Christ to this threat is amazing for it tells of the non-threatening works of Jesus Christ.

 

It tells of devils being cast out of poor souls, it tells of cures of every disease on Herodís own subjects. 

 

Those whom Herod rules over are being cured, are having demons removed from their very being. 

How can this be a threat to Herod?

 

But do you know that good works are indeed a threat to those in power?

 

Everything that the Lord Jesus Christ did was good for the subjects of the rulers but every ruler felt threatened by this one who was only doing good throughout the land.

 

And Jesus Christ intends to continue that work unhindered by threats of death because he is not on the tetrarchís timetable but Godís schedule.  

 

He is not about the tetrarchís business for he is about the Fatherís business.

 

The Amplified Bible puts Christís response this way: 

 

Luke 13:32, And He said to them, Go and tell that fox [sly and crafty, skulking and cowardly], Behold, I drive out demons and perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish {complete] My course.

 

It is almost as if Christ consulted his appointment book to see if there was room for change but he found no room for change. 

 

The days were all filled up with the Fatherís business and there was no time allowed to react to the threats of Herod or the Pharisees.

 

He would not be deterred from His ministry.

 

It was business as usual for Jesus, even if that was dangerous, even if it meant death.

 

Jesus was determined to finish what He had been sent to accomplish.

 

No threat of danger would turn Him from His mission or from His ministry.

 

This response of Christ brings to mind Nehemiahís response when he was asked to come to a meeting with Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem to discuss the re-building of the wall around Jerusalem. 

 

Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. 3And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

 

And so was Jesus of like mind as he expresses contempt regarding any departure from Godís work. 

 

Jesus was intent upon continuing his ministry, and in keeping His course.

 

He was not going to let anything cause Him to take a detour, so that He could avoid the danger which lay ahead.

 

Luke 13:33,  Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

 

Jesus made it clear that He knew He would die in Jerusalem.

 

He was not naive of the danger.

 

He was fully aware of the pain and the persecution which faced him in Jerusalem.

 

He was totally conscious of the fact that He was called to suffer for men.

 

He was urging men to ďstriveĒ to enter the door and He was striving to open the door to salvation, by His sacrificial death.

 

He knew that the Sanhedrin were gathering in a conspiracy to see to it that he was put to death. 

 

Jesus Christ was then, and he is today a threat to all who wish to live within a religion of hypocrisy for this was the Sanhedrinís way of life.   

 

And those of that religion were joining and plotting to see to it that he met His fate.

 

And his fate was to be in Jerusalem.

 

Luke 13:34,  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

 

Here we are given a glimpse into the heart of Christ and the heart of God, toward Jerusalem.

For Jerusalem was to be the place of His rejection by Israel and His death.

 

Jerusalem was the capital of Israel where Jewish pride and rebellion against God were concentrated.

 

Jerusalem had the reputation for killing the prophets.

 

But in spite of all this reputation, Jesus loved Jerusalem and its people.

 

We see in this lament of Christ his total love and care for the Jewish people and how he desires their salvation.   

 

And yet time after time, prophet after prophet, they had persistently resisted and rejected Godís messengers.

 

And it was now for them to do so again but this time it was the rejection of The Prophet of Prophets.  

 

There would be no other prophet to come.

 

They refused to receive him as king the first time he came but God continues to love the Jew and will be received as king the second time he comes.

 

Here is the heart of God revealed.

 

While Israel would reject Him, He would not finally or fully reject Israel.

 

His rejection and His death was Godís means of restoring His people.

 

They thought to destroy him by putting him to death but His death and shed blood, and only his death and shed blood, will ultimately mean salvation for Israel.