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Jesus Christ » Jesus In Jerusalem

A Fox and a Mother Hen

Luke 13:31-35 is often referred to as the "lament over Jerusalem." The text is couched within a larger segment of Luke's Gospel known as the travel narrative (9:51-19:27). Jesus' Galilean ministry has drawn to a close, and he has now "made up his mind to go to Jerusalem" (9:51, CEV), where God's purpose will be accomplished.

Jesus receives a warning that Herod wants to kill him. Herod's reputation as a tyrant has been referenced earlier in Luke's Gospel (3:19, 9:7-9). Jesus responds to the threat by calling Herod a fox and proclaiming his commitment to continue his ministry of healing (13:32). The reference to the three days signals Jesus' impending death and resurrection.

The "fox" cannot deter Jesus from his mission, which will culminate in Jerusalem with his death on a cross. It is in Jerusalem that Jesus will meet his fate - a fate linked to that of the prophets (13:33). The juxtaposition of Herod as "fox" and Jesus as "mother hen" protecting her chicks foreshadows the mounting tension and diabolical confrontation that awaits Jesus as he approaches Jerusalem and the fulfillment of his destiny.

Here, Jesus laments over Jerusalem. Upon his arrival in the Holy City, he will once again weep (19:41-44). Throughout this Lenten season we will journey with Jesus to Jerusalem and follow him to the cross. And we, too, will weep.

But evil will be defeated. Hope will be rekindled. Jesus is the one whom the faithful recognize as God's Messiah, and he will come again in glory and triumph (Luke 21:27). And like those who shouted the words from Psalm 118:26 upon Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem (19:38), we, too, will call out, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord."

Until that day, we live with the assurance of God's gracious love. As a mother hen protects her young under her wings, we are sheltered by the wings of the Holy One who keeps us secure (Psalm 91:4).

This Reflection is drawn from the Bible Resource Center's e-Bulletin Series - an online ministry of the American Bible Society. The Bible Resource Center is also home to an extensive collection of Essential Bible Study Tools

For more Bible Study Resources visit: http://www.bibles.com/bibleresources

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