Missional Jesus warned, and he warned with the severest of warnings. The word often used for this theme is “wrath,” but the term is not often understood carefully enough to realize what the NT writers had in mind. So, today I will post on missional Jesus and the warning of wrath but this theme will need some more posts, which I will get to next week when we turn to Matthew 24 and 25.
Here is our passage. Read it slowly enough to take it all in.
At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day–for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
34 “O 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, but you were not willing! 35 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.’
1. Opposition to Jesus by the Roman-leaning, Jewish-representing leader — Herod Antipas — elicits a potent response on Jesus’ part.
2. Missional Jesus calls him a “fox” — and I think we need to connect this to Matthew 8:18-22 where it is the foxes who have dens but the Son of man has no place to sleep. Foxes feed on little animals.
3. Missional Jesus is unafraid to continue his mission or speak his mind.
4. Missional Jesus’ goal is Jerusalem.
5. When missional Jesus thinks about Jerusalem it elicits a potent response: it’s the City that opposes, tragically, the work of God through prophets (such as missional Jesus).
6. Missional Jesus longs and yearns for Jerusalem — as a whole — to respond to kingdom vision and offer.
7. Missional Jesus expresses the wrath of God against Jerusalem: desolation of the City. Jesus here announces the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in a war with Rome in 66-73 AD (7 years, don’t forget that), as the wrath of God. Wrath occurs, at least in part, on the plane of historical judgment.