Gospel: Luke 13:31-35
Epistle: Philippians 3:17-4:1
Lesson: Jeremiah 26:8-15
Psalm: Psalm 4
CLB Commentary – Rev. Dale Hanson
The Lenten season is an important time to preach on the cross of Christ; however we must preach Christ crucified through-out the whole year as well.
John Stott has written a book called, The Cross of Christ. In that book he states that the cross is at the center of the historical, biblical faith. He adds that the distinction between an “objective” and “subjective” understanding of the atonement needs to be made clear in every generation. Plus, to have a truly Biblical understand we must understand the biblical concepts of the words “satisfaction” and “substitution.” He goes on to state: “we strongly reject every explanation of the death of Christ which does not have at its center the principle of ‘satisfaction through substitution’, indeed, divine self-satisfaction through divine self-substitution. Stott points out that one does not understand Christ till one understands the cross aright. The cross enforces three truths—about ourselves, about God, and about Jesus Christ. First, about ourselves; our sin must be extremely horrible. Second, about God; God’s love must be wonderful beyond comprehension. Third, about Jesus Christ: his salvation must be a free gift.
The Gospel: Luke 13:31-35
What motive was behind the Pharisees warning Jesus?
In his response, Jesus, lets us know what he thinks of Herod, calling him a fox . . . ironically, this clever tyrant without knowing so would serve God’s plan of salvation.
Jesus does not heed their warning but states and wants them to tell Herod that he will continue his work. Notice his referring to the “third day”. He speaks of it figuratively when he refers to his goal as being reached on the third day.
What a moving plea to Jerusalem and to all people everywhere in verse 34. We hear the heart of God calling out to his wayward children. The imagery of this is poignant, for the Lord then and still today reaches out to his rebellious children, seeking to gather them under his protective wing. When a mother hen senses danger, she draws her chicks together and protects them with her outstretched wings. Unlike those chicks; Jesus says, “but, you would not.” Clearly, Jesus is more willing to forgive than we are willing to be forgiven. Grace upon grace is on display here.
The text closes with the words from the 118th Psalm quoted on the great festival days of the Jewish people. The same words were used when Jesus entered Jerusalem as the humble King on Palm Sunday and on the final day when he comes in the name of the Lord not as Savior but as Judge.
Oh, may our house not be forsaken!
Sources used for these notes:
The Lutheran Study Bible
The People’s Bible – Luke
The Cross of Christ by John Stott