That Fox!

The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the timecome when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Luke 13:31-35

I have a question for you – if the Pharisees wanted Jesus dead, why did they warn Him about Herod seeking to kill Him?

Well, for one thing, every time they tried to kill Him or attempted to catch and accuse Him, they failed. So, I think they are just trying to scare Jesus to get Him to go away.

This is Herod Antipas, who killed John the Baptist. He was afraid that John had risen from the dead and therefore wanted to be rid of Jesus.

Jesus calls Herod “that fox.” When we think of a fox, the first thing that comes to mind is that they are sneaky and dangerous. This may be what Jesus has in mind but I think it applies to the Pharisees as much as Herod! Moreover, Jesus may have had something else in mind with this infamous title.

Consider what the Jews thought about foxes. While the walls of Jerusalem were being rebuilt in the days of Nehemiah, Tobiah mocks them. He says that even a weak little fox could break down their walls.

Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

Nehemiah 4:3

Perhaps Jesus is saying that Herod has no more power to stop Him than a fox does to break down a wall! Remember, Jesus has just said that the kingdom will spread and be beneficial to all the world. Jesus is declaring that there is nothing that Herod, or the Pharisees, can do to stop it!

No matter what anyone tries, Jesus says I am going to keep my mission moving forward. He even declares that He will raise from the dead showing nothing can stop Him or the true kingdom of heaven!

This section closes with Jesus declaring that time and time again He has told Jerusalem to follow Him and turn from the world but they refused. This is, no doubt, referring to the natural kingdom of Israel once again.

These unbelieving Jewish leaders thought they could stop Jesus and that He was in danger. Jesus says, “No, you will soon see that you are the ones in danger, not me.” Their unbelief would continue even through the time that Jerusalem would be destroyed.


The kingdom of heaven goes on!

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