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.’
-Luke 13:32 (NIV)
As Jesus was making his way to Jerusalem someone asked him if only a few are going to be saved. The one who asks is wondering if many people are going to find healing and salvation. Jesus responds to those with him by charging them to strive, to fight, to struggle, to contend with adversity to enter through the narrow door. Many people with try but will not be successful. They will not know the owner of the house and the door will be closed. While they may plead and knock, the door will remain closed because they are unknown to the owner. (Luke 13:22-27)
Jesus then gives a brief description of the place that these people will inhabit which includes weeping and gnashing of teeth. They will not inhabit the Kingdom of God. Other people, from all different locations, will come and they will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. (Luke 13:28-30)
What is the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God is the rule of an eternal, sovereign God over the universe. More specifically, it is a spiritual rule over the hearts and lives of those who willingly submit to God's authority. Those who defy God's authority and refuse to submit to Him are not part of the kingdom of God. Those who acknowledge the lordship of Christ and gladly surrender to God's rule in their hearts are part of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is spiritual and is not of this world.
It is at this time when some Pharisees approached Jesus. They came to warn him that he needs to leave. Herod Antipas is interested in killing Jesus. We are unsure of the motive of the Pharisees. It is possible that they are genuinely concerned for the life of Jesus, and they want to warn him so that he won't be harmed. It is also possible that they were threatened themselves. They may not have wanted Jesus to stay as it may have imposed on their ability to be "in charge". In either case Jesus is warned of the imminent danger posed by Herod. (Luke 13:31)
I am fascinated by the response of Christ!
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.’ -Luke 13:32
This is a term of contempt. Jesus expresses an attitude of authority and scorn towards the persecution and adversity of which he is warned. He has a message for the opposition. He will keep freeing and healing people today. He plans to free and heal people tomorrow. On the third day, he will be finished!
Later, Jesus laments and weeps those he loves who kill the prophets and stone the messengers. He longs gather all his children together and protect them from adversity, but many are unwilling. Those who are unwilling to receive his healing and freedom are reminded that they will not see him again until he returns for his Church. (Luke 13:33-35)
The question was asked of Jesus if only a few would find freedom and healing. With sadness Jesus reminded the people that this would in fact be the case. Not because of his desire but because of the unwillingness of many hearts.
Today Jesus brings freedom. Today Jesus heals.
Tomorrow Jesus brings freedom. Tomorrow Jesus heals.
On the third day it will be finished.
On the Cross of Jesus, he declares that it is finished! Jesus has reached his goal. It is the third day that he is resurrected. It is on the third day when he returns that we who have been raised to new life in Jesus will find our ultimate fulfillment of freedom and healing. Those who have been set free by the Jesus, while they may be few, are in fact free!
GO TELL THAT FOX
Go tell the adversary. Go tell the enemy. Go tell the devil. Go tell that fox!
GO TELL THAT FOX that in Christ you are made whole in spirit, soul and body and will be blameless at the coming of my Lord Jesus Christ.
GO TELL THAT FOX that you have learned the secret of being content whether you go satisfied or hungry.
GO TELL THAT FOX that you are a part of the body of Christ and no weapon formed against you will prosper.
GO TELL THAT FOX that you don’t have to be afraid; you God is with you, and he will strengthen you and hold you up.
GO TELL THAT FOX that you have been set free. The son has set you free, so you are free indeed.
And when you finish the race, you may be limping or crawling to the finish line but you will know that your work is done, and you will soon see your King face to face and say “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” and you will know that your work is done because you will hear him say “well done my good and faithful servant”. The one who declared victory over adversity on the cross when He said “It is finished” will be the one who completed the work for you and rose to life on the third day that you may too be resurrected when your work on earth is done. Praise be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
GO TELL THAT FOX that you are not finished. The work of Jesus is finished. There is no persecution or adversity that will overcome you because you belong to the one who holds the keys to life and death, and while the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy… Jesus came that you would have life. Life now… and life forever. It is no longer you, but Christ who lives in you. You are alive!