Detail from Why Are You So Angry? (No Te Aha Oe Riri). Painting by Paul Gauguin, image by JR P via Flickr; licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.
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Lament over Jerusalem
Luke 13:1-9, 31-35 Commentary
by Audrey West
When Pharisees warn Jesus to “get away from here” because Herod has it in for him -- the same Herod who executed Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist (Luke 3:19-20; 9:9a), and who will play a role in Jesus’ trial (Luke 23:7-12) -- we might expect Jesus to take the hint and high-tail it out of there.1
However, Jesus is not on a journey to get away from it all. He is on a journey to get into it all, specifically into the midst of Jerusalem, into the heart of the people of God -- even when they are determined to destroy him (“because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem”).
Jesus has been traveling through Galilee: casting out demons, preaching in synagogues, healing the blind and lame, stilling storms, dining with opponents, teaching parables. Not long before this (in narrative time), he “set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51); now, he is determined to meet that goal.
Pharisees: Friend or Foe?
Is the Pharisees’ warning friendly or hostile? Modern readers too readily assume that Pharisees were legalistic, oppressive, religious authorities out to “get” Jesus because he violated Torah and taught the love of God.
However, Luke’s portrayal of Pharisees is mixed. To be sure, they raised questions about Jesus’ ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL261: Lament over Jerusalem
March 12, 2017
This podcast on Luke 13:1-9, 30-35 the Narrative Lectionary reading for Mar. 12, 2017, features Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Matt Skinner. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.