Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings Rom 8:31B-39,Lk 13:31-35
Jesus on his way to the cross in Jerusalem is approached by some Pharisees who say to him, “get away from here for Herod wants to kill you.” Jesus knows that this is the same man who also killed his precursor John the Baptist. It is very interesting that Jesus quickly turns his attention away from Herod. Jesus indicates that the main opposition against him comes not from galilee but Jerusalem. Jerusalem in this passage represents the religious authorities who were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Jesus knows the cross is coming. In Luke 9:53 we read “when the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to Jerusalem.” Jesus recognized the threat Herod faced but acknowledged the greater threat to his life: Jerusalem. Jesus isn’t worried about Herod because Herod had no jurisdiction over Jerusalem only in galilee.
It is in this passage we see that Jesus encountered religious opposition wherever he went. Whether it was about Sabbath or forgiveness of sins, there were always religious authorities present to oppose Jesus. This is what Jerusalem represents: the religious authorities who are seeking to kill Jesus because they hated him for his teaching. Like Herod, the most likely reason the religious authorities wanted Jesus dead was because they viewed him as a rival
Jesus’ response to the religious authorities is instructive for us: he rebuked them. The religious authorities had strayed far from God and were actually hindering the work of God. This is why Jesus uses the image of a hen gathering her brood but Jerusalem seeking to prevent it. Jesus told Jerusalem that your house is forsaken because of your stubborn opposition.
Jesus faced two main types of opposition during his earthly ministry: secular and religious. What is remarkable is that Jesus is not concerned about either but continues to work he is called to do. Jesus was not afraid of Herod and was not afraid of Jerusalem because he was doing the will of God. Jesus had a divine commission and knew it would be completed.