At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” (Luke 13:31)
It is no surprise that Herod would be threatened by Jesus and want Him dead. Herod was the King of the Jews by title under Roman rule. His father, the first King Herod, tried to have Jesus killed when He was an infant. What may catch our attention is that some Pharisees come to warn Jesus that He is in danger.
Wait, weren’t the Pharisees bad guys, an evil group that plotted with those who wanted Jesus killed? Maybe God has something He wants us to see here. In the Gospel of John we read of Nicodemus, a Pharisee who came to ask Jesus questions and received the teaching about being born again (John 3:3). Later, he will bring the spices to assist Joseph of Arimithea with Jesus’ burial (John 19).
The lesson is that we are all more than the groups we belong to and the labels we haphazardly place on each other. If that’s all we ever see, we never get to know the people behind that label. If we look past our differences, we’ll find the likeness of God the Father in each one of us.
Loving Lord, help us to see that we are all Your beloved children. You made us differently so that we could each express Your love through our various gifts. Help us see family and not foes when we look at each other. Amen.