Week 1: Saturday

Read: Luke 13.31– 35 

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Meditate: What is Jesus saying here, and how can we begin to understand what it means for us? 

Perhaps we’re with Jesus and his party as those Pharisees (friendly ones, as occasionally they are in Luke) come to warn him that Herod, the local king who doesn’t like rival ‘kings’ on his patch, is out to get him. You can feel the tension in the air. Some of us knew it might end in this way; all the talk about the rich and the powerful being thrown down and the poor and humble raised up was bound to lead to trouble, however much it’s in the Bible! Now what shall we do? Now what will he do? 

Our natural instinct is to say, ‘Come on, Jesus, you’ve made your point; now it’s time to move on, to go somewhere safer.’ But what’s he saying? ‘No; Herod can’t touch me; prophets die in Jerusalem. Didn’t you know that?’ 

That’s extraordinary! And scary. Surely he doesn’t mean he’s going to Jerusalem … in order to die there? 

‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem!’ Think of the hen and the chicks. Think of the fire that will sweep through the farmyard. Yes, I’m coming to Jerusalem, and that’s what I wanted to do for all of you, to take the fire on myself, the fire of Herod, the fire of Rome, the fire of all the wickedness in the world. But are you going to be ready for it? Or will you reject your one chance of safety? - NT Wright

Pray: Lord, we don’t always understand what you’re up to, or why you went to die in that way. But we pray for strength to follow wherever you go, to be sheltered under your wings from all the evil that may come.

Engage: Have a conversation with a family member in which you share about one of the most difficult times in your life.