Turn in your Bible to Luke 13:31-35. Be on the lookout for three things in these verses. First, I want you to look at Jesus’s example. Second, I want you to be on the lookout for is Jesus’s compassion. Here in this passage, and especially in verse 34, we see something of Jesus’s heart of compassion, even towards those who have rejected Him. Finally, I'd like us to look at the response that Jesus gets, not only from Jerusalem mentioned in verse 34, but also from the other players in this passage — the Pharisees, Herod — all of them picture for us a response to Jesus.

I. Jesus’s Example

Let's begin by looking at Jesus’ example. Jesus gives us much more than an example, thank heavens. Jesus didn't just tell us how to live or show us how to live. He lived for us a life that we couldn't live and died a death that we deserved to die. He did this so that we could be welcomed into God's family and forgiven and accepted in Jesus Christ the Beloved. If He hadn't done that for us, then everything that He showed us by way of example would avail nothing for us. But because Jesus has done that, His example does matter to us.

Jesus is approached by Pharisees. Luke doesn't tell us whether these Pharisees are sincere, but they come to Jesus and they share with Him a message: “Jesus, get out of here! Herod wants to kill You!” You see Jesus’s response in verse 32. He says, “I'm going to Jerusalem to die on purpose, but Herod can't lay a finger on Me. I'm not going to die one minute before God wants Me to die. My life is in God's hands. He has a purpose in My life, and My purpose is to die, so I'm not afraid of death threats!” The confidence of Jesus in the face of the threat of Herod, and perhaps the veiled threats of the Pharisees, is astounding. He trusts in His Father's providence. He's not afraid.

That is an example to us about how we ought to live our lives. Do you understand the exhilarating freedom and liberty that comes from knowing that nobody can take anything away from you that matters? When you have renounced everything and determined to live a life worthy of the Gospel, do you understand how absolutely free you are? Jesus gives an us an example of how to live.

II. Jesus’s Compassion

Jesus also gives us an example in His compassion. Look at His words in verse 34. He tells you in the beginning of verse 34 that when He gets to Jerusalem they’re going to treat Him just like they treated the prophets in the Old Testament. But look at His heart of compassion at the end of verse 34: “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings!” Do you see what Jesus is saying there? Jesus is using Old Testament language that God used for bringing the people of Israel under the care of His wings. It's a beautiful picture.

One thing that Jesus is indicating here is that He is divine. Only God could say this and not be a delusional maniac. It's a strong claim of His deity, but it is also an evidence of His heart of compassion, because the people He is saying this about are exactly the same people who will reject Him kill Him. That is His heart of compassion. We, like Jesus, must not have a heart of vengeance against our enemies. Instead we must have a heart of compassion, a Gospel-desire to see people converted to faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus knows these people are going to reject Him, yet He longs for them to know the blessing of union with Himself, the blessings of God's beneficence poured out on them.

When you become a Christian, you begin to have a heart like Jesus. You begin to have a compassion for the lost. You long for those who face an eternity separated from God to come into fellowship with Him by faith in Christ. You can't be indifferent to it. The way you live begins to show that compassion. You share the Gospel and are committed to the support of evangelism and campus ministry and missionary work so that as many as possible can hear the message of salvation and come to faith in Christ.

I remember sitting in the Grace Chapel at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson just a few weeks after the events of September 11th, and John Piper was preaching the missions conference. He was talking about sending missionaries into the Muslim world with the message of the Gospel, ready to die if necessary, in order to bring the Gospel into the Muslim world. I must confess that I went to that conference not thinking about how much I wanted Islam to be converted to faith in Christ. But my wicked heart melted under that preaching. I realized I had the wrong attitude. One of the things that happens to us when we come to faith in Christ is His compassion begins to build in our heart towards all the lost. Jesus manifests that here.

III. The Response of the Crowd to Jesus

I want you to see the response of the people to Jesus. You can't be indifferent to Jesus. You either accept Him or you reject Him. The Pharisees want Him out of Galilee, Herod wants to kill Him, and the people in Jerusalem are going to reject Him and eventually kill him. That presses on us a question. Jesus is speaking here to religious, God-fearing people who had a Bible. They knew it far better than most of us know the Old Testament, and they were serious about religion. Yet they rejected Jesus.

There's a message for us. We’re God-fearing people. We've got our Bibles, and we’ll argue theology with you, but have we embraced Jesus by faith? Have we acknowledged that His cross is the only way of salvation? Have we put our faith in Him? Do we treasure Him more than anything in this world, or is He something that we add onto our life and that we fill up for about an hour a week and then the rest of our lives we do what we really care about?

The question that is pressed upon the people who originally heard Jesus say, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, I have longed to gather you like a mother hen gathers her chicks,” is pressed upon us. Will we come to Jesus? Will we hear His call to sinners or will we reject Him? There's no in-between.

We must also see that He is more compassionate to us than we will ever be. He longs to see us saved more than we long to be saved. Had He not gathered us to Himself we would have not been gathered. In the end, when someone is condemned, it is not because there is something lacking in the compassion of Jesus, for He cares more about the salvation of sinners than sinners care about the salvation of sinners. If we reject Jesus in the end, it's entirely our doing. It's not a lack of His compassion. That is a very sober thing to consider.