31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ 32He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me,* “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” 34Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when* you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” ’
It’s hard to imagine that the Pharisees were trying to protect Jesus. Perhaps they were or perhaps they were trying to scare him into submission, scare him into keeping his mouth shut and to stop healing on the Sabbath. But Jesus was prepared either way, his message was not only for Herod but for the Pharisees as well, he would not, could not be intimidated by fear tactics. Jesus was following God’s will no matter who happened to be threatening him.
Jesus had work to do. That’s what Jesus was concerned about—the work that God had sent him to do. There was nothing that humanity could dish out—be it the Pharisees or Herod—that could stop him.
If only we could act and do ministry with the same dedication, the same passion. What could you, could we, be brave enough to do if we knew that we would succeed? What if we truly believed that we were completing God’s mission for our lives?
Holy One, impassion us with your quest. Place your will inside our hearts and light them on fire. Help us to brave the world and trust fully in you, so that we can live and do the risk-taking mission that you have called us to. Thanks be to you, Holy One, amen.