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Faithlife

52 Luke 13.31-35

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Luke 13:31-35

v    The Tempest is a Shakespearean play in which a storm shipwrecks its passengers on an island where magic and sorcery abound. At one point, a man finds himself seeking shelter beside a sleeping monster, and proclaims…

“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”

Ø     From that quote we get the idiom…

§        “Politics makes strange bedfellows”

·        And it is true!

¨     Political interests can bring together people who otherwise have little in common.

Ø     We saw this at its height in the Iran-Contra Affair

§        America supplying weapons to Iran, who was an avowed enemy at the time

v    In our text today, we have two avowed enemies conspiring, working together

Ø     And we see that the saying was as true back then as now…

§        “Politics makes strange bedfellows”

 

READ 13:31

 

The Pharisaic Scare

v    Pharisees were no friend to Jesus

Ø     They were devising a plan to kill him from almost the beginning of his ministry

§        Mark 3:6 ~ After Jesus heals a man with a shriveled hand on the Sabbath

·        They began plotting how they might kill Jesus

v    Herod certainly was no friend of Jesus

Ø     Jesus was stirring up pro-Israel sentiment

Ø     Recalling the victories of the Prophets of old

Ø     Perhaps reminding him of his guilt over killing John the Baptist

v    However, Herod and the Pharisees were certainly not on friendly terms

Ø     But “Politics makes strange bedfellows

§        Pharisees and Herod Antipas were enemies

·        Herod represented Rome

¨     Pharisees hated Roman rule

v    But they both had a common enemy in Jesus…

Ø     So they coordinated a threat

§        To scare him out of Herod’s territory down toward Jerusalem so he would not have to worry about him

·        Into the awaiting trap the Pharisees had set

¨     But Jesus dismisses the threat because he knows he is on God’s Timetable…

READ v. 32-33

 

The Divine Timetable

This text shows us 2 things…

v    Jesus knew he was on a divine timetable

Ø     God the Father’s…

§        Not Herod’s

§        Not the Pharisees

·        In fact…

v    Jesus’ whole life was on a divine timetable

Ø     We see evidence of that throughout Jesus’ ministry

§        From the beginning of his ministry in Nazareth

·        Lk 4:30 ~ Walked right through the crowd

§        At the feast of Tabernacles after claiming divinity

·        Jn 7:30 ~ “No one could lay a hand on him”

§        After claiming to be one with the Father

·        Jn 10:31 ~ “He escaped their grasp”

§        During the “Good Shepherd” discourse, Jesus made it clear that he was laying down his life, it was not being taken from him

·        Jn 10:18

¨     No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord

v    And we see the divine timetable here

Ø     Jesus knows that Herod’s plan will not succeed

§        He is going to die in Jerusalem

·        “No prophet can die outside of Jerusalem”

v    The comfort that we can derive from this is the knowledge that we are on a divine timetable as well

Ø      Phil 2:13

§        for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose

Ø     If you call yourself a born-again believer, you are on a divine timetable

§        Your life has a pointed function designed by God

·        That is one of the great gifts we are given as believers

¨     Purpose

 

v    And that is one of the great vacuums for those who don’t know Christ

Ø     Their lives are, as Shakespeare puts it in Macbeth…

§        “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

·        Most people who do not know Christ believe just like Andre Maurios does

¨     He writes:

Ø     The universe in indifferent.  Who created it? Why are we here upon this puny mud heap spinning in infinite space? I have not the slightest idea, and I am quite convinced that no one else has the least idea

v    People are so desperate for purpose that they create it

Ø     But always with the temporal things like

§        Their job ~ Men

§        Family ~ Women

§        Social clubs ~ Oddfellows, Elks, Masons

§        Philanthropic activities ~

Ø     Some good, but trying to fill an eternal purpose with a temporary one

§        It is not a lasting impact

·        The greatest possible impact a non-believer’s life can have on eternity is on the order of a large ship’s impact on the ocean.  It leaves a wake, which is very impressive for the moment, but which is gone without a trace within a few moments

v    But nothing will impede the purpose of our lives, because

Ø     it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose

Ø     Being on a divine timetable should give us confidence

§        God is working his will through you

·        God’s purpose will never be thwarted

Ø     Being on a divine timetable is freeing as a Christian

§        Free from worry and anxiety

·        Romans 8:28

¨     And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

Ø     Even the bad times serve God’s purpose

Verses 32-33 also show us that…

v    Jesus knew he was going to die

Ø     You see…

§        Jesus was born for one purpose and one purpose only…

·        To die

¨     To die on that Golgothan Cross

Ø     And at this point in his life the cross looms large

§        We talk often about Christ’s passion

·        His scourging

·        His beatings

·        The crown of thorns

·        The agony of carrying his cross

·        The torture of his crucifixion

¨     The Passion of the Christ showed this in accurate detail

Ø     But think about it for a moment…

§        How difficult was it to move toward the cross

·        Luke 9:51 ~ Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem

¨     Until 19:28 ~ The triumphal entry

Ø     Day by day knowing it was getting closer

§        Like a person sentenced to death who is moved one foot closer to the electric chair every day

v    And to make things even more difficult…

Ø     Jesus was going to die for a people that have rejected him!

 

READ v. 34-35

The Divine Struggle

v    In these verses we get a rare look into the heart of God

Ø     The Divine Struggle between his Justice & Wrath on the one hand

§        And his Love & Mercy on the other

·        Jesus describes how he longs to love and protect Israel…

¨     But pronounces the judgment to which they are headed

v    Too many people have the image of God as a judgmental father

Ø     A God who is all too willing to punish his children

§        To Judge

§        To condemn

§        To cast out

§        To throw thunder bolts at those who disobey

v    Here we get an insight into the extreme struggle that God went through

Ø     Jerusalem = Israel has continually turned away from God

§        And not just turned away…

·        But intensely and actively rejected God

¨     “Killing the prophets” that he sent to woo and to warn Israel

Ø     Tell what prophets do ~ Warn and Woo

§        And God warned and wooed over and over again…

§        We have 16 recorded prophets in our Bibles

·        12 Minor and 4 Major

¨     But we have to realize that God sent thousands and thousands and thousands to warn and woo

Ø     1 Kings 19:10-18

§        “7,000 who have not bowed their knee to Baal”

Ø     Yahweh constantly sent his prophets to warn and woo Israel back to faithfulness

§        Yet Israel refused to listen…

·        They turned their back on God

·        They actively rejected Yahweh

¨     They built alters to other Gods

¨     They ran to other nations for help instead of Yahweh

¨     They lost the book of the Law

§        Similar to what America is doing today!

·        Throwing prayer out of our schools

·        Insisting on separation of church and state

·        Casting the 10 commandments our of our state buildings

Ø     We are like Israel in our rejection of God

§        And Israel left God no other recourse but judgment

·        V. 35 ~ Your house is left to you desolate

¨     Devastation, destruction, despair, despondency…Desolation

v    Yet even though they act like enemies toward him

Ø     He still cares for them

Ø     He still wants to show grace, mercy, love and compassion towards them

§        You can hear the sorrow and longing in his voice

·        “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem..”

¨     Jesus mourns over their hardened hearts

¨     Jesus grieve over their stubbornness

¨     He laments over their rejection

v    Yet he is still willing to die for them

Ø     Willing to die for Enemies

§        The unwilling

§        The reluctant

·        A people that could care less about him

v    And isn’t that still true today?

Ø     People still are enemies of Christ

Ø     People still are unwilling to believe in him

Ø     People are still reluctant to trust him

§        People still could care less about him

v    But isn’t that what Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is precisely all about?

Ø      Romans 5:6-8

§        You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

·        While Herod was trying to kill him…

¨     Jesus was on his way to die for him

·        While the Pharisees were trying to trap him…

¨     Jesus was walking toward the cross to sacrifice himself for them

·        While all the world still could care less about this little carpenter that claimed to be God

¨     Jesus extends his love to them

·        While all nations snub their noses at him…

¨     Jesus wants to gather them under his wings of protection

In wheat farming, there was a ten-to-fifteen day period when the wheat was ripe enough to burn, yet not ripe enough to cut. In the pioneer days of wood-burning locomotives, sparks from locomotives often set fires on either side of the railroad tracks when the trains ran across wheat fields. Wheat fires sometimes burned for ten miles, sweeping over and charring great fields before them.

A farmer saw billowing smoke in the distance; he knew the wind was coming toward him. Fearing that he would lose his house as well as his wheat,  he took a torch and ran to the edge of his own field and lit a fire, and the fire in his own wheat began to burn away from the house some one hundred yards. It made a circle so that when the great fire came down and met the place that was burned over, it passed around and went on. With the backfire he saved his buildings, but he lost his crop.

In great grief, he walked out in the burnt stubble and saw the charred body of a hen lying there. He thought that the hen had become confused and had been burned to death. Idly, he turned the body of the hen over with his toe, and out ran a dozen little chicks. The mother's body had been over them; she was burned, but they went out free.

In the day of Christ's dying, the dam of God’s patience burst and out flowed the wrath of God for all the sins of the world. But God’s wrath did not touch us because we were protected by the wings of Christ. On the cross, Jesus extended his arms and covered us so that you and I can run out from under them alive and free.

v    Jesus allowed his body to be charred beyond recognition on the cross

Ø     And in that gruesome death on the cross, he extends a beautiful gift to you and me

There is a species of century-plant called the maguey. It grows for years and years with great, coarse leaves as thick as your two hands, broad as three, and long as twenty feet. It puts out sharp thorns, and is about as ugly a thing as grows.

Turn on overhead

But suddenly, without much warning, in just a few days, it shoots up a great shaft, tall and thick as a small telegraph pole, and is decked with thousands of flowers. What is amazing to comprehend is that the pos­sibility of all that fragrant beauty was al­ways in that detestable ugliness.

v    You see brothers and sisters…

Ø     In the detestable ugliness of Christ’s death on the cross…

§        He sends out a shoot of hope

·        Decked with the flowers of the promises of God and eternal life


Notes:

§        The secular world is doing it as well!

·        Rejecting God through evolution

¨     Swearing by a theory that just does not hold scientific water

Ø     Irreducible complexity

·        Rejecting God by elevating human reason above God

¨     Carl Sagan Illustration

¨      Isa 55:8-9

Ø     For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts

¨     Yet we have placed our ability to reason above God’s

Ø     Openly and actively rejecting God

·        And don’t we reject God

¨     When we are backsliding

Ø     The Lord always throws us a rope to grab hold of

§        Illustration:

·        White water rafting

Ø     You stop reading your Bible

§        The Lord casts you a rope

·        You notice you Bible on the coffee table more and more

Ø     You stop going to church

§        The Lord casts you a rope

·        You bump into people from church

Ø     You stop going to Bible study

§        The Lord casts you a rope

·        You get calls from people

Ø     You stop praying

§        The Lord casts you a rope

·        You hear a message on the radio regarding prayer

Ø     You start drinking or drugging again

§        The Lord casts you a rope

·        Your conscience bothers you

Ø     Yahweh cast Israel a rope over and over again through the prophets

§        Yet they again and again rejected them

·        Decided to go through the rapids on their own

·        Ignored the rope

On the day ofthird day, God raised Him from the dead, and I ran out free, and you ran out free, for He was between us and the wrath of God. This is the atonement.

a backfire had been burned, a backfire

there was the dam of God's patience, and there was the Hood of God's wrath; the day that Jesus Christ was put on a cross, God said that Christ was guilty of all of the law, having become a curse through being cruci­fied.

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