Subtitle: A Lenten meditation on Luke 13.31-35
“Some Pharisees” – members of the Jewish party devoted to obedience to God’s Law – “came to Jesus” with a message. Herod, Israel’s Rome-installed puppet monarch, wanted to kill him.
In this, Herod could have been a forerunner of Henry II; the 12th century English king who, vexed by the resistance of his chosen Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas à Becket, cried out, “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”
These Pharisees, as a group, often Jesus’ adversaries, declined to play a similar role of those English knights who carried out Henry’s bidding, striking Becket down with the sword. Rather, they came with a kindly warning of danger. Jesus, refusing to yield, with uncompromising defiance, proclaimed his intention to continue his work.
What compelled Jesus “to dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe” – Herod who possessed the power to destroy him – thus, “to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go”?
Perhaps it was because Jesus, though mindful of Herod’s malevolence – as we, too, must be when facing the threats, past and present, of all despots – was subject to another authority.
What, then, was that “heavenly cause” that led Jesus to “march into hell”?
© 2022 PRA
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 See Henry II, Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (5th edition). New York: Oxford University Press, page 370.
 From The Impossible Dream (The Quest) (1965); Mitch Leigh, composer, Joe Darion, lyrics.