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.’”
Herod wants to kill you.
Could you imagine having someone tell you that? What must have gone through Jesus’ head and heart at that moment? Arguably the most powerful man in the region was on the hunt for Jesus. What Herod wants, Herod gets. This is the guy that beheaded Jesus’ cousin, John. So, Jesus was intimately aware that if Herod wanted to kill him, he could.
Jesus’ response is so money.
“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.’”
“Fox,” was slang in that time for a crafty or sly person. That’s not all that surprising, it’s still used that way today. However, in this context Jesus was probably using it in another slang sense, “You think you’re a lion, but you’re nothing but a fox.” In other words, Jesus was putting Herod in his place. He was nothing more than a bit player in a grand play. Jesus wasn’t worried about a little ol’ fox.
Jesus wasn’t intimidated by a fox. He was on his way to take down the lion.
What lion was that?
He was about to do a take down of the principalities and systems of this world.
This world that thinks power is something taken by force and violence. Jesus was about to take that whole idea and turn it upside down. He was about to destroy the strong man of this world by giving himself in love and then rising again.
Yet, even in that moment, Jesus heart breaks for his city. Make no mistake, Jerusalem was his city. It was the center of Jewish life. It had a gravitational pull that drew everything and everyone to it. Jesus knew that the city, the people within the city, empowered Herod and the systems.
His heart broke for it. His heart didn’t break for bricks and mortar. It broke for the people and their unwillingness to come under his protection and love.
Who or what are the foxes that are trying to stop you from slaying lions?
Sit in that question today. You might be surprised.