Jesus is the Son of Man
Jesus’ Heart for the Lost
(Note: It has come to my attention that my sermon posts from Nov ’21 through the begining of Feb ’22 have been lost. So i will be reposting them here, meaning they wont necessarily be in the order they were preached and recorded. THank you for your understanding)
All right! Please turn in your Bible with me to Luke chapter 13. As I always say, just in case, if you do not have a Bible, or if you have a need of a Bible, please see me after the service so we can work on getting one into your hands.
So, we finish up Luke chapter 13 today and we see Jesus show us his heart. He has been strongly warning the people who have assumed their standing with God, those who have trusted in their works or their ethnicity or anything else. He has been warning them that they need to repent, to turn away from their trusting in other things. They need to repent and turn to Christ alone. They need to turn away from their own righteousness and trust simply and solely in Christ’s righteousness.
But we also know that this is only one side, one extreme of the pendulum. This is the good, moral, righteous, “Of course I’m in…” crowd. Jesus does not take joy in their destruction. Jesus is showing his heart for these who won’t listen and are therefore lost, and we see that here in today’s passage.
WE will be reading Luke chapter 13, verses 31 through 35. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version. As always, I greatly encourage you to follow along in your preferred translation. What is important is not my reading, or which translation but that you are in fact reading the Word of God.
So, Luke 13:31-35, Luke writes, inspired by the Holy Spirit:
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
May God Bless the reading of his Word.
We start at verse 31, where Luke writes, “at that very hour…” We see the same thing we looked at the last few weeks. This phrase shows that this takes place at the same time, in the same setting as what we looked at last week.
Now, on first glance, it appears that at least a few of the Pharisees liked or at least cared about Jesus. They are warning Jesus that Herod wants to and is going to try and kill Jesus. That’s awful kind of them, right?
Except the problem is that when we read the rest of the Gospels, including just the last few chapters of Luke, this seems very out of character from how they usually act. RC Sproul speculates that they were actually trying to scare Jesus into leaving where they were, where Herod had control and authority and having him go to Judea, where the Pharisees had the control and authority.
Now, Herod remember is almost more of a title than a name. There were multiple Herod’s. This is not the same one who was in charge when Jesus was born and the wisemen came. This was the Herod who had John the Baptist killed. And he had heard about Jesus and had heard about his teachings and his miracles. And he feared that Jesus was John the Baptist come back to life. This was the Herod who would end up being instrumental in Jesus’ death, during the illegal trials that took place the night leading up to his crucifixion.
So, this threat would not have seemed completely legitimate and credible when the Pharisees delivered it. One other commentator combines that with RC Sproul’s idea and wonders if Herod told the Pharisees to tell Jesus about the threat, without intending to follow up on it, hoping that the threat would be enough to move Jesus on. This commentator speculates that Herod had already lost much of his political capitol and public support after he killed John that he would have been hesitant the actually kill the very popular Jesus.
No matter what the thoughts, intents and motivations of Herod and the Pharisees, Jesus knew that he was not going to be killed then and there. He calls Herod a fox. This was animal that was not look kindly upon by the Jewish people. They were associated with being deceitfully cunning. Jesus was showing and telling the people that he the utmost contempt for Herod. And Herod had the authority and the ability to follow through in this if Jesus were not on a mission from God.
But Jesus tells them to send a message back to Herod. And he uses the present tense to show that his ministry is not over, he is not stopping or running, but it is continuing until it is meant to be over. It is for a limited time, that what the phrasing he uses means. But the limitation on that has nothing to do with Herod, or any other Human being for that matter. Jesus is going to continuing teaching, preaching and healing and casting out demons until he gets to Jerusalem and is put to death the way and at the time that the Father has determined.
When Jesus mentions the third day, he is, again, using phrasing that was well known to mean that there was a finite amount of time to his ministry. But he was making a very clear, at least in hindsight, allusion to his death and resurrection, that he would be put to death and then rise again on the third day.
Now, in verse 33, Jesus does say that he needs to continue his travels and not just hunker down right where they were. However, he clarifies that this is because of God’s plan, not because of Herod or the Pharisees or anyone else.
Jesus had a very specific timeline to follow. All the specifics of Gods plan were laid out and figured out, all the details were set up well before hand. Jesus had to go and die in Jerusalem.
It was at the end of Luke 9 that Jesus set his face upon Jerusalem. His entire ministry from that point forward was bringing him to Jerusalem, in the right place, at the right time, to fulfill the plans of God.
And what Jesus was saying here was not that every single one of the prophets whom God had called were killed inside of Jerusalem. Rather, what we are seeing is that Jerusalem, as shown throughout the history of the Jewish people, was the center of the Jewish religion and worship.
What Jesus was saying was that those religious hardliners, the ones that Jesus has been teaching and preaching against, the ones he has been warning not to assume their admission to heaven, the religious establishment. These men were much more dangerous to a true prophet of God than any threats from Herod in Galilee or anyone else from anywhere. These men wanted more than anyone else to shut Jesus up and ruin and end His ministry.
Jerusalem was the very symbol of the Jewish religion. It was synonymous with the Jewish religion. It was very similar to the way the Pope is the symbol of and is synonymous with the Catholic church.
These types of symbols, as heads of establishments, they often gain power and influence, they establish the rules and the standards and if anyone goes against them, the hammer comes down swiftly and hard.
That’s what we see happening with Jesus here. That’s what we saw with the Catholic Church during the Reformation. Martin Luther was the face of it, but there were so many more men who were fighting for the Word of God and were being persecuted by the church at the time. Zwingli, Tyndale, Hus, Calvin, just a few of the names.
Speaking the truth of God, straight from the Word of God, speaking the true Word of God will often lead to persecution from those who have power and a warped view and teaching of the Word of God.
Luke ends this section with Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem in verses 34 & 35. Some believe that these verses did not happen here chronologically. That Jesus didn’t say these words right here during this back and forth with the Pharisees. If that’s the case, Luke includes them here because they fit perfectly with the theme, they fit exactly with what Jesus is saying. In that case, this lament would have been spoken by Jesus as he enters Jerusalem as also recorded in Matthew 22, verses 37 & 38. Of course, its also possible that Jesus shared this lament on multiple occasions and ultimately, makes no difference in meaning or application when these words were spoken, only that they were spoken.
Jesus laments over Jerusalem and their rejection of Him. Webster defines lament as “to express sorrow, regret, or unhappiness about something.” Another definition I saw, “a passionate expression of grief or sorrow.”
Jesus poured his heart out during this lamentation. He is speaking to Jerusalem, the very symbol of the Jewish people. He says, I have invited you to be a part of my kingdom. I have sent prophets and messengers to extend this invitation to you.
And you keep rejecting them!
You keep rejecting the message and invitation!
You keep rejecting me!
Jesus says that this breaks my heart! He says, how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
Now this is a word picture, it doesn’t mean He’s a bird. But he uses this word picture in a way common to scriptures and the culture at the time. The hen as a mother was a common metaphor for loving care.
Jesus is showing his heart and his longing here. Kent Hughes writes that Jesus longs for us to find sustenance, warmth and especially security in him. Under his wings, as it were. He does not delight in the death of the unrepentant, of the unrighteous.
Ezekiel 18:23 & 32: Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”
But Jesus says, you have rejected me. You have rejected the Father. You have rejected the offer of salvation. And so, there is no hope for you if you do not repent and believe.
We are all responsible for our own selves. We are all individually responsible for not experiencing the love of Christ and the salvation that comes with it. WE cannot depend on our family, our household, or nationality or ethnicity, even the way it is used today, we cannot depend on our religion to save us. IT is only in response to our own acceptance or rejection that we can depend on and determine our eternal fate.
Jesus tells Jerusalem, your house is forsaken. The offer that you thought was exclusive to you, has been withdrawn. To clarify, that exclusivity has been withdrawn. The offer and invitation are now open for all to hear and respond to. Now, a new surprise to them, only those Jewish people who confess Jesus as LORD will go through the narrow door into Heaven.
This is not a plan B or a surprise reaction by God. “Oh no, they rejected me, hurry, come up with another plan. This is all a part of the same plan of redemption that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit come up with and implemented before the beginning of time.
One commentator likens us today to Jerusalem then. IF we do not come to him, repent from our sins and believe on him, we too will be forsaken and destroyed.
I cannot emphasize enough here that we are truly seeing Jesus’ heart for the lost. HE is not an emotionless, stoic guy walking through and just saying, believe or don’t, makes no difference to me, just choose. He does not want any to perish, but for all to come to repentance. Of course, not all will come to repentance, some will and have perished. But that doesn’t mean that Jesus does not grieve for those who have.
I love how Kent Hughes describes Jesus and his heart here, as he writes:
WE also see his extraordinary human spirit. The relentless terror of the cross daily loomed higher over his life, but his love for others drove him on. He was truly sympathetic with those who came to him, totally engaged when they spoke. He was tender with every need. He wore himself out ministering to others. And all the while he moved closer to his cosmic excruciation.
And we need to think abut this. If Jesus was able to love, to have genuine, pure love for even the worst of sinners, those who completely rejected him, how also, should we have that same heart for the worst sinners we know, those who choose the worst sins in our eyes.
I saw someone say last week, and I couldn’t find it again so I’m paraphrasing, that if Jesus died for people who reject him, beat him, killed him, the least I can do is treat people I don’t like with dignity and respect.
Now, Bruce Larson, on the end of Luke chapter 13, writes:
The chapter ends with a poignant lamentation. Jesus must accept, though with sadness, the fact that there are people who will not accept the kingdom. His agony over Jerusalem and its hardness of heart is the same agony He has now for the hardness of heart of those of us in the New Jerusalem. Jesus, then and now, is in anguish over those who cannot accept the life He is offering, who have hardened their hearts to the plea of God to come into his kingdom.
The reason I keep mentioning the heart of Jesus and his love for those who reject him is just in case. The passages we have looked at the last few weeks can sound discouraging. If I have done a pour job, they might come across as very heavy and may cause us to feel beaten down. When Jesus says not all who think they are in, will be in, our human tendency is to either completely ignore him or to think he is telling us we are not in.
And so, if you have felt any of that over the last couple of weeks, Jesus is here to say There is hope. The invitation of salvation is extended to all. You can accept it right now. And if you already have, then do not fear, for he will never forsake you. Turn those burdens over to him. Rest in Him.
Quit trusting in your works. But also, quit condemning yourself for sins that have already been forgiven. Quit condemning yourself for your sins and accept the forgiveness and rest that’s being offered and let Christ gather you as one of his children just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
If you are in Christ, one of his chicks, to continue using the word picture, then on the first Sunday as we celebrate communion. We are going to this now with partaking of bread and juice symbolizing his body and blood and with reflection.
If you have not truly repented and trusted in Christ, please just pass the elements along. There is nothing magical about it. There is nothing special about it for those who do not believe that Jesus Christ gave his broken body and his blood for the forgiveness of our sins. There will be no pressure and no judgment.
Stemming from that, Communion does not save us, it does not cleanse us, it does not do anything along those lines. It has no power to keep us clean or to restore our relationship with God, only Jesus can do that. This was given to us by Jesus for the purpose of remembering. Remembering who Jesus was. Remembering what Jesus did for us. Remembering how much he loved us and remembering just how big of a deal our sin really is. It is meant to be sobering and somber, but at the same time it is meant to be a celebration.
Thirdly, we are told that we need to come and participate with the right heart. As I said, we do this in remembrance of what he gave up for us, the sacrifice he made. We do this because we remember how big of a deal our sin is, that he died on the cross for it. We need to make sure that our hearts and minds have their hearts set on what’s important and that we seek God’s forgiveness and make our relationships are right with him. In addition to a tradition becoming too important and placed above the word of God, tradition can become bad is by it losing its meaning and becoming simply a ritual. Please take some of this time to reflect on what this tradition means and to make sure that you are prepared to receive. There will never be any judgment if you choose not to participate, and just pass the plate.
Paul recounts to the church in Corinth what I now tell you as well, in 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26:
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for[e] you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[f] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
We have individual cups that contains both the wafers, which symbolize Jesus’ broken body on the cross. His Death that pays the penalty for our sins. It also contains the juice, symbolizing the shed blood of Christ, which purchases our eternal life in Christ, through faith.
First, we will take the wafer together. Afterwards, we will take the juice together and we will be united together under the cross and blood of Jesus Christ. I will pray and we will come to the LORDs table.
Lastly, I want to read the words of RC Sproul and plead on last time for anyone who has not repented as of yet. HE writes:
If you have lived this long without ever having truly repented of your sins or fled to Christ for your forgiveness and your healing, today may be your last chance. You may not have next week or even tomorrow. Don’t presume on the grace of God. IF when you lay your head on your pillow tonight, you remain unconverted, I pray that you would not sleep until you are on your knees before the living God, taking advantage of the blessed redemption that he has given to all who repent and believe in the LORD Jesus Christ.
Amen. Let’s celebrate Communion.