HEROD AND THE TRUE KING – Sermons and Biblical Studies


LUKE 13:31–35

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach My goal’ ”

(Luke 13:32).

As Jesus approached Jerusalem, some of the Pharisees warned Him to leave because Herod would try to kill Him. Jesus replied by calling Herod a fox. This declaration implied that Herod was a sly and untrustworthy thief, lacking dignity and honor. Not only did Jesus denounce Herod to the crowd, but when He was summoned before Herod, He refused to answer his questions. In doing these things, Jesus was making it clear that He was the true king and that He would pass judgment on Herod.

Jesus stated that nobody was going to stop Him from doing His work. He said that He was going to keep right on driving out demons and healing people until He had reached His goal. When we read Jesus saying, “On the third day I will reach my goal” (v. 32), we think of the Resurrection, but the Resurrection was actually more than three days away. In the ancient world, to say something had reached the third day was a way of saying that it had reached completion. Jesus was saying that He was going to finish His work, whether Herod liked it or not.

Perhaps these Pharisees were being friendly to Jesus, but it is more likely that they were trying to silence Him by bringing up the threat of Herod. In any event, Jesus went on to issue one more condemnation of Israel, telling the Pharisees, “In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!” (v. 33). This ironic statement calls attention to the fact that the people had repeatedly rejected God’s messengers.

Jesus continued, “O 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, but you were not willing!” (v. 34). The chicks preferred Herod the fox to Jesus the hen, and so they were destroyed.


Psalms 96–98

Romans 12

There is no word Jesus ought to have said but didn’t; likewise He spoke no word He was later to regret. Whether calling Herod a fox or condemning Israel or prophesying doom, each word was perfectly suitable. Can the same be said of you? Honor Christ today with your speech.

For further study: Proverbs 15:1–33; tape #B57INT.64/65