February 21, 2016
Introduction: For the rest of Lent I will be exploring where we can find the oases in the Gospel lessons. My goal is to help us reflect on when we are in a crisis to be able to answer the question: where is God and how does He reach out to us? Today’s lesson comes immediately following Jesus’ teaching as he was on his way to Jerusalem about being saved. He encouraged the people to enter through the narrow door, not necessarily the easy way.
I) Some Pharisees come to Jesus to warn him Herod wants to kill him. This may bring us up short because in many instances the Pharisees were opposed to Jesus’ teaching! Jesus tells them to go and tell that “fox” that he will do what he must do and only when he is finished doing his ministry will he move on to his next goal!
II) The truth of Jesus’ ministry is that those who should have been most supportive are those who in fact want to destroy his ministry. This must have been frustrating to him and confusing to his disciples. They certainly saw the rift develop between the teacher and those whom should have accepted his teaching. Even Jesus putting the conflict into a historical setting whereby God’s special messengers . . . the prophets were so often ridiculed, harmed and even killed. The question remained, how could this happen to the teacher who seemed so close to God and was filled with the Spirit to the extent that his teaching was so powerful and he was able to perform such incredible healings and miracles!
III) Finally Jesus laments over Jerusalem, the fate of those who have gone there before him and most especially his own fate! We are told he would like to have gathered up the children of Jerusalem as a hen would gather her chicks under her wings. This wonderful image has stayed with me in part because it is such a contrast to what I think of when I think of Jesus! He is so determined to reach out to the lost, even those who would do him harm he wants to reach out and protect them, perhaps even from themselves! How has God protected you in the past? Personally he has never left me without a sense of purpose and hope. I believe that God’s love and care for us is always present even though we may not always immediately perceive it.