Does your heart break when a loved one chooses a destructive path? Your heart breaks for them knowing it is not going to end well. Perhaps in recent weeks your heart has been breaking while watching one nation choose the path of war against another.

When our hearts break, it is a sign that we are created in the image of God. It is another way in which we reflect God. Our Scripture Focus today speaks to God’s breaking heart:

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” He 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. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ Jerusalem, 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! See, 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.’ ”

Luke 13:31-35 (NRSV)

Jesus had enemies who were out to get him. The religious leaders were none too happy with him, but here a key political leader also wanted him dead. With a touch of irony Jesus wanted Herod to know that he was too busy healing people to waste time in being killed by the one who was supposed to be taking care of the very people Jesus was taking care of.

Jesus, however, knew that his enemies would indeed catch up to him…in Jerusalem.

I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!

Luke 13:33,34 (NRSV)

Prophets were sent by God to help the people avoid disaster, to help them choose a good path. We often think of prophets as predicting the future, which is part of it, but they did so with a view to influencing present decisions. For example, I might say to my three sons, “if you drive down the highway at 200 km/h, you will lose your license or worse.” There is prediction about the future there, but the purpose is to effect change in the present, to make possible a better outcome, to avoid catastrophe. That is what the prophets did in the Old Testament. God sent the prophets to bring the people back to himself, to help them avoid the disasters that awaited if they insisted on going their own way. God also sent them to point out how he would be there for them when they returned. There was always hope.

There is more at: https://clarkedixon.wordpress.com/2022/03/17/breaking-gods-heart-thinking-through-luke-1331-35/