THE SPIRIT OF FOXES
At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
No doubt that Jesus was not ignorant to the fact that Herod was not an actual fox, yet led by the Holy Spirit, he saw through Herod to the spirit behind his actions.
Metaphorically, he denounces his actions as sly and crafty, the characteristics of the fox. Or some could say, the ‘spirit’ of the fox.
And these hints noted in Scripture – especially the timing of their mention – is no coincidence. Jesus was presently driving out demons and intended to teach his disciples in this figurative language how to spot the spirit behind certain men.
Of his chosen people, he metaphorically refers to them as ‘chicks’ that he desired to gather as a hen. Chicks speak of the most vulnerable and dependent of the animal kingdom. A prey to every kind of harm. But if you’ve ever seen a video of a hen protecting her young, then you know that she’s someone you don’t want to mess with. No opponent is too great for her, for she is willing unto death to save them. Yet his people, blind to their own need for his protection, ‘were not willing.’
Not that they were unable, but willing; but able – yet refused. In doing so, they left themselves open to every form of deception; every sort of cunning and craftiness… Such men like Herod, and many men today are ready and waiting to take advantage of such circumstances. (I speak to men based on the context, but this spirit is in no way limited to men)
Yet in all this, even amidst the desolation that we bring upon ourselves by our own rebellion, we are not abandoned. Our Lord honors his servants as priests and heavenly messengers entrusted with the message of reconciliation between a Holy God and His rebellious children – which we ourselves were at one time.
A humbled heart alone can utter such words: “‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
Wherever the Kingdom of God is present, bringing freedom, deliverance, and the message of reconciliation, you can be sure that not too far away will be the spirit of the fox, with murder and rebellion in his heart against the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
God bless you saints of God,
Trust ♔ Jesus!