"The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." Luke 13:31-32
It just tickles me to no end to read things about my Lord and Savior which shows that He was a real person. The world likes to paint a caricature of a Jesus who is always smiling with open arms as people spit in His face. Yet Jesus told it like it was.
One of the first things that stands out in this text is the hypocrisy of religious people. The Pharisees come to Jesus under the guise of warning Him about Herod, so that He would not be killed. Yet, they wanted Jesus dead too and were conspiring to kill Him (Matthew 26:3-5; Matthew 21:45-46; Luke 19:47-48; Luke 22:2; John 11:47-53). In fact, when Jesus later confronted them about this fact, they denied it, claiming He had a devil. (John 7:19-45; John 8:37-59).
Isn't that just like religious folks? They smile in your face, but all the time are plotting to stab you in the back. And when you call out their lying out, you're the one who is supposed to have a demon!
The Pharisees weren't concerned about protecting Jesus, they were just tired of having Him around. See, all of His preaching the truth was setting the bound Israelites free from the religious leaders' control, and of course they didn't like that. You will experience the same reaction from religious people if you preach the truth; they will do or say anything to get you from being around the people they bewitch.
Yet, their plotting against Jesus didn't work (and it never did). Jesus tells them what they can communicate back to that old "fox". Although Jesus directed the message to Herod, I have to believe He was also directing His response to the Pharisees as well, knowing their hearts.
The word for fox here is the Greek word alōpēx which references a sly or crafty man. The prophet Ezekiel tells us a little more about the character of such persons:
"Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.
Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it." Ezekiel 13:3-11
This is the condition of much of the Church today. Everybody is trying to give their take on God, add their two cents about what they believe or have a "word from the Lord"...which would be wonderful if in fact they truly had a word from the Lord. Such is the way it should be. God doesn't just speak through those who are perceived as leaders. He uses and speaks through every vessel which belongs to Him.
Yet that is just the point, most of these vessels claiming to represent Him don't actually belong to Him. So all they can do is seduce you with lies and divination. As a result, the masses run after these hirelings, none the wiser, and loving to have it so because they do not want the truth (Jeremiah 5:31).
There is only one message for such foxes, "I am focused on doing the Father's business."
Notice that the Pharisees tried to move Jesus by getting Him to focus on His life in this world. This is how the devil will always try to destroy you. Yet Jesus' eyes were always on eternity. People could threaten Him, insult Him, and seek to take His very life, but His eyes were on being perfected; on the resurrection. He would let nothing deter or distract Him from completing the work His Father had given Him.
We must learn from this example. The answer for every attack Satan launches against us is resurrected life. I am not merely talking the resurrection from the dead when these physical bodies pass. I am speaking of walking in resurrected life now because the old man of sin has been crucified (Philippians 3:10). Just as they did Jesus, the world will taunt you to come down from that cross, but we know to do so would be our death (Matthew 10:39). Our victory over every tactic of the enemy is found through the cross.
Do you want to be perfected? Then when Satan tries to threaten, attack, or distract you, you go remind that fox whose you are! Keep your eyes on things above and let the Father complete His work in and through you.