1 Samuel 30-31 Luke 13:23-35
“Yet I must be on my way today and tomorrow and the next day. Surely it cannot be right for a prophet to be killed anywhere except in Jerusalem.” (Luke 13:33 NCV)
I’m not sure if the Pharisees were trying to get Jesus to leave Galilee, or if Herod was actually trying to kill Him, but the warning they gave seemed dire: Herod wants to kill you. I can almost see Jesus laughing at the threat as He told those warning Him, “There’s a time and a place for everything. Now is not the time for my death; this is not the place.” The mood might have changed when He noted that Jerusalem was the place for prophets to die, so it was time for Him to go to Jerusalem. He reminded the Pharisees, and all those listening, that He’d tried to minister to the people of Jerusalem, but His ministry had been rejected, time and time again.
Is it possible that the only people who didn’t realize that Jesus was going to be killed were the disciples? The Pharisees in Galilee warned Jesus about Herod. They obviously hadn’t gotten the memo from the Pharisees in Jerusalem that Jesus needed to die. Jesus kept telling people that His death was getting closer and that it would come at the hands of the Jewish leaders. He wasn’t worried about Herod because He knew the schedule set by the Father. There was only one place fit for a prophet to be murdered – Jerusalem. His time was coming, so He knew He needed to head towards Jerusalem. I imagine that people who don’t believe in Jesus must wonder about Jesus and those of us who follow Him. We don’t fear danger. We don’t fear certain death. Jesus went to Jerusalem. Stephen kept preaching until he was stoned. Paul went to Jerusalem in spite of the warnings. Given opportunities to recant to save their lives, Christians through the ages have gladly proclaimed their faith in Jesus. Following Jesus is dangerous, because we don’t serve a tame God. We serve a God who sends us into danger, reminding us that He even cares for those who would persecute us. This is the nature of the love of God. If you’re looking for a God who makes life easy, who listens to you and does everything you tell…er…ask Him to do, then you probably don’t want to follow Jesus. There are a lot of people who throw His name around, but I don’t think our Heavenly Father knows anyone like the Jesus they describe.
I wish that following You led me to a life of ease and comfort, Lord. Remind me that any price I pay is small compared to the price You paid to show me Your love. Give me the strength to go to my Jerusalem and show love to those whom You died for, even though they might seek to kill me.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.