Sunday September 28, 2008 | Dwayne Polk
At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you."
He replied, “Go tell that fox, 'I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.' In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' “
To whom do we run when we are need? Where do we place our trust when we need protection? There are many things in this world that offer safety and shelter, but only in Jesus can we find true shelter, peace and love.
Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great and the Roman appointed of Judaea. Like his father, he ruled by politics and cunning. Even though he identified himself a Jew, it was often just used for political expediency. Fleecing his own people to death for his own gain…and Rome’s benefit.
Why did Jesus call him a fox? His desire to kill and predate demonstrated his foxiness. Also foxiness means seductiveness, cleverness. People like Herod try to get good ends through foxy means.
Herod was a person they were supposed to be able to trust, he’s preying on the people. And the person that is the despised supposed problem person is the Son of God himself wanting to SAVE the people. Jesus provides an image of the kind of care and protection He desires to give God’s people, that of a hen covering her chicks with her wings. We are to envision Jesus providing us with this kind of covering.
This is an image that comes directly from Psalm 17:6-9
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.
Talk about what “shadow of wings” means… According to the IVP Bible Background Commentary for the Old Testament, the description of a person taking refuge in the “shadow of the wings” of a deity is a consistent theme that deals with “care and protection connected with the covenant.” This is an image that can help us trust God so that we call on the Lord for help.
He calls out for us to run for cover to Him, but we are lured and devoured by the foxes. He mourned this situation, and Jesus looks at our situation today, He still mourns.
God wants us to stretch out for Him, so that we can see and experience His saving power in our broken situations. We can trust Him to take care of us when our human systems just can’t or won’t. Lehman Brothers? Bank of America? Having good credit? Only solid, stable protection is God.
To put this running to the wings of Jesus into practice there are few things that we can do: