Luke 1334 “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.
We studied this passage in Luke 13 Sunday morning, Jesus’ determination to continue his ministry, offering life and health to those he touches, even as he knows he’s drawing close to his sacrifice.
The above verse has always made me sad, to think of how much Jesus loved these people, wanted to hold them close, but they would not let him.
This time though, we looked at this verse in a new way for me.
Move past the sadness. Consider what Jesus says he’s offering, and remember that he offered it not only to the people of Jerusalem of that time, but to us just as much.
The picture is of a mother hen, gathering her babies close to her, under the warmth and protection of her wings. A danger comes near the chickens—a loud truck, a threatening animal—and the mother seeks out the babies to keep them safe, to give them comfort.
This is the love that God is offering to us. In the cold, stormy world, prodded and grabbed by so many threats and fears, God is offering us the love of a mother hen. He wants to gather us close to him. He wants to cover us with the warm, comforting shelter of his love and grace and wisdom. As he seeks me and offers to draw me near, I want to say, “I am willing.”
Yes, we see Jesus’ sorrow here as he mourns those who would not accept his offer. To me that says, as I accept his offer of protection, I bring him joy. What a wonder. What a mystery.
Hebrews 12:2: “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”