October 27, 2016 - The Rejection of Jesus

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Luke 13:21-35

This is just one of many examples of Jesus prophesying his death and connecting his fate to the fate of the Old Testament prophets.

This is not meant to convince us that Jesus had the magical ability to foretell the future, or make his sacrifice even greater by the fact that he walked willingly into it.  This is a prediction that Jesus’s message will never be accepted.  Just as the well-behaved son resented his father for rewarding his prodigal, immoral brother, and just as the vineyard workers who started work at 9 AM resented those who started at 4:30 PM and got the same wage, so we reflexively resent the idea that God does not require anything of us; that God is not in the business of moral command and judgment; and that He loves everyone equally regardless of even moral merit.  

Image: Matthew the Apostle, Caravaggio