Spiritual Preparation: The Brood
Luke 13:31-35 February 24, 2013
There are some terms that I am glad that Jesus did not use for the people in Jerusalem. I am fine with Jesus saying the people are a brood whom Jesus has been trying to gather, as a hen gathers her chicks. As we are getting spiritually prepared for baptisms and reaffirming our own baptism, it is good to know who we are.
He could have called the children of Jerusalem an army. But caterpillars don’t protect one another at all.
He could have compared the children of Jerusalem to salamanders. But even then a congress does not protect all!
He could have said that the children of Jerusalem were like alligators. But, then again, that is one congregation no one wants to be a part of!
No, Jesus had it right. As he was preparing to meet his death, he knew where he had to travel. Jesus was heading to Jerusalem, the place where many Old Testament prophets were killed. Jesus goes to Jerusalem for a reason.
When we see why Jesus went to Jerusalem, then we discover our response. That’s right; we get to respond to Jesus’ mission to Jerusalem. It will be good to give this response before the time to say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”
- Herod wants to kill Jesus (13:31)
- It was kind of some of the Pharisees to warn Jesus
- Herod had already killed John the Baptist (9:7-9)
- Herod had wanted to see Jesus (9:9)
- Did Herod want to see Jesus so that he could learn about the kingdom of God? Or did Herod want to see Jesus so that he could have Jesus killed? Or could it have been for both to hear about the kingdom of God and to kill Jesus that Herod wanted to see Him? I don’t know. We do know that Jesus had been talking about the kingdom of God just prior to the warning from the Pharisees. Herod may not have liked the idea that he, the king of God’s people, would have to worry about the kingdom of God. Since he had killed John the Baptist for speaking against him, it is most likely that what Jesus was speaking and doing was against Herod as well. We can get like that, you know, defensive when what we are doing is not right/holy and someone speaks about those activities. In spite of the warning, Jesus was heading to Jerusalem.
- Jesus knows what he is doing (13:32-33)
- Jesus describes Herod – a fox!
- “This is what I am doing” – Jesus says about his work
- Casting out demons
- Performing cures – not “practicing medicine”
- Since Herod had wanted to “see” Jesus
– Fed 5000 (9:10-17)
– Heals a demon-possessed boy (9:37-43)
– Even the 70 cast out demons (10:17-20)
– Heals a crippled woman (13:10-17)
- He will finish his work – do you believe that?
- He continues to heal – a man with dropsy (14:1-6)
- He cleanses 10 lepers (17:11-19)
- He blesses little children (18:15-17)
- He heals a blind beggar (18:35-43)
- Nothing could deter Jesus from heading to Jerusalem. Not even the threat of Herod could deter Jesus. In Luke 4 Jesus had read the scroll of Isaiah and said that the Spirit was upon him to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. And that was what he was doing. Twice before he had foretold of his betrayal and death (9:21-22 & 9:44). Even though the scribes and Pharisees were plotting against him (11:53-54), and telling him that Herod was going to kill him, Jesus was still heading to Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem is the place for Jesus to go (13:34-35)
- Prophets killed here
- Jesus wants to protect the children/people of Jerusalem
- The people won’t respond
- How can we respond to Jesus’ offer of protection?
- Confess Jesus as your Savior (UMH 34)
- Serve him as your Lord (UMH 34)
- What does it mean to be gathered by Jesus?
- Nurture one another in the faith (UMH 35)
- Include others in your care (UMH 35)
- Jesus offers protection to not only the children of Jerusalem, but to all who will hear him. When you agree that Jesus is your Savior, then you are listening to him! You soon develop trust in Jesus and you serve him as your Lord. And we believe the church is open to people of ages, nations, and races. As a part of the church, we help each other know what it means to be protected by Jesus. It is the way that leads to life.
Jesus has not returned, yet. We have not heard people shout at his return, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” You have an opportunity today to say that you want Jesus to be your Lord and your Savior. He wants to protect you.
Let us leave with this thought. Barbara Brown Taylor, in a sermon says this about Jesus as the mother hen:
“Jesus won’t be king of the jungle in this or any other story. What he will be is a mother hen, who stands between the chicks and those who mean to do them harm. She has no fangs, no claws, no rippling muscles. All she has is her willingness to shield her babies with her own body. If the fox wants them, he will have to kill her first.
Which he does, as it turns out. He slides up on her one night in the yard while all the babies are asleep. When her cry wakens them, they scatter. She dies the next day where both foxes and chickens can see her — wings spread, breast exposed — without a single chick beneath her feathers. It breaks her heart, but it does not change a thing. If you mean what you say, then this is how you stand.”