Have you ever looked back on your life and considered, "What might have been?" "What if I had asked that girl out?" "What if I had tried out for that group?" "What if I had said yes to that job?" "What if I had said no before joining in that foolish activity"? I think we have all asked these questions. Many of us wish we had "do-overs," but that is not the way life works.
In our text, Luke 13:31-35, Jesus is standing on a hill outside of Jerusalem, and he is having a "what might have been" moment. "What if the people had just listened to God?" "What if the people were obedient?" "What if the people accepted me as God's Son?" What would have happened if they had?
The people of Jerusalem, the Israelites, God's chosen people, refused to believe. They killed the prophets, the ones sent to them on behalf of God, and Jesus weeps and laments over what might have been.
In a fit of emotion, he says, "O how I have longed to gather you like a mother hen does its chicks." But it was no use...they did not want to be in right relationship with God. And then Jesus says something very peculiar, "You will not see me again until you say, 'blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.'" In other words, though Jesus is greatly troubled, he doesn't quit. Instead, He strengthens his resolve, and goes forward, into Jerusalem to show them once and for all the degree that God loves them--that is what the cross is about.
Instead of writing them off, Jesus asks, "what still could be?" And you know what folks...he does that for us as well. Judgment is never the last word with God...grace is. And you and I are called into a right relationship with him even when we act like those Israelites.
The time to follow Jesus is now...may we never look back on our life and say, "what might have been."
I look forward to seeing you Sunday,