At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 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. 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.’ 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! 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!’”
One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” And they could not reply to these things.
Comment: We’re coming to the end of the ministry of Jesus on earth. There isn’t a date at the top of these stories but it seems to be at the most several months before His trip to His death. Most of us don’t know the hour nor the day of our departure from this world but Jesus did. So I’m not surprised that emotions seem to bubble to the surface of His life.
The pharisees are already planning for His death as we have heard previously but they warn Him to flee from Herod. They wanted to plan it carefully themselves; if Herod killed Him, there would be a popular uprising because the mass of people didn’t feel badly about Jesus like they did. And that would cause all sorts of political disruptions, so they told Him to flee – they would would find another day and way!
Jesus acknowledges that He will die but it is to be be in Jerusalem and as a prophet (and more) not as an anti-Roman zealot. But can you hear the heart wrenching of His pleading for His people, called them here by the name of their capital city. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem … I can almost see His eyes brimming with tears.
Then again He heals someone. ‘Dropsy’ isn’t a word we commonly use today but it signifies heart failure with swollen oedematous legs and lungs overloaded with fluid and consequent shortness of breath. Then He waves the red rag before them and their bullish restrictions and heals another man. No doubt they remember the woman with her bent over back healed before their eyes a while back.
Oh how stupid they were not to listen to Him and learn from His actions!
Prayer: Help me not to make the mistakes others have made, but to learn from their failure, please.