At that time some Pharisees came to him and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”( Luke 13:31-35)
In today’s Gospel passage, we come face- to-face with the reality of foxes and hens. It is an analogy that continues to give us wisdom even in this day.
Herod was the fox – an embodiment of cunning and deceit. Jesus publicly defies the fox’s intimidating death threats with the message that he won’t cower before the fox’s sharp teeth, but will continue on with his mission of casting out the forces of evil and offering healing and hope to the sick, the downtrodden and the marginalized.
Maybe you’ve seen the sly fox prowling around the hen house. You may have caught a glimpse of him in sly ways political leaders howl about freedom or concern for the poor, but conceal their real intents. Or maybe you have seen that fox instructing the roosters to manipulate the system to make everything go their way. The world of the fox is cruel, cold, calculated, and compassionless. In order to escape the teeth of this cunning predator we need to name the fox, as Jesus did, and seek a place of refuge from his cruel and cunning ways.
Maybe it’s not that dramatic for you. Maybe the fox is so subtle that you do not see him. Often times in life we are walking along a path that God has made for us. We are doing what we are supposed to do. We are cruising along and then, out of nowhere our distractors give us a temptation to leave what it is that we were born and meant to do.
Some of us get way laid by the promise of money. Some of us get way laid by the promise of fame. Some of us get way laid by unfounded conviction of guilt. Some of us get way laid by the importance of being busy. There are many other ways to get way laid, but none of them have to do with our purpose. Jesus knows his purpose: he has set his face to Jerusalem. It is Jerusalem which is his destiny. It is at Jerusalem, the place of sacrifices, that he will offer himself as The Sacrifice for all time, for you and me.
When that happens, the best way to deal with Satan is for us to remember who we are and whose we are. What are the gifts that God has given us – what talents do we possess? What are the opportunities in our area that fit those talents? What is it that we were born to do? We need to remain as focused as our Lord, Jesus Christ. We need to follow and live the words of Jesus Christ. We need to believe, with all of our hearts and intellect that the Christ filled life glorifies God. That Jesus himself prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, but thy will be done.”
The Lord is knocking at the door of your heart (Revelations 3:20) and he wishes to enter into a close personal relationship with you. Receive him who is the giver of expectant faith, unwavering hope, and undying love. And always remain focused on the true home which God has prepared for you in his heavenly city, Jerusalem (see Revelations 21:2-4).
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, I place all my trust and hope in you. Let me abide with you. Fill my heart with love and mercy for others that I may boldly witness to the truth and joy of the gospel through word and example, both to those who accept it and to those who oppose it.”
To be a follower of Christ in name only is easy but to be a committed follower until the very last gasp of our breath is never easy. For it will require us to get out of our own comfort zones or to even sacrifice our very own lives so as to preserve and advance the teachings of Jesus. So, we have to ask of ourselves – Am I a committed follower or follower in name only?