This story or illustration has been around for some time in various forms, but it serves well as an illustration of the love that our Lord has shown to us. Jesus uses much the same picture when he said, ““O 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 wings, but you were not willing!
Jesus had come to save all people from their sins and their consequence. The first promise had been made to Adam and Eve soon after their sin of disobedience. That promise was renewed again and again – to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and many others.
Yet, when Jesus arrived, he was rejected. Oh, there were some who believed in him. His popularity went up and down. In his home town of
Nazareth, they tried to kill him. The Pharisees,
Sadducees, and Scribes often sought to discredit Jesus. “He eats with sinners,”
they cried. He worked with prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners. More
important of all, he stole the hearts of the people. The more he was praised by
others, the greater their hatred.
Yet he loved him. As he looked at the very ones who would plot for his arrest and cry out for his death, Jesus wept. You can feel it in his words – “O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem…. how often I have longed
to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under wings, but
you were not willing!”
Every soul is precious to the Lord. That includes yours and mine. He loves us all. He proved that at
the innocent Lamb of God laid down his life for the sins of the world. There he
died in our place. There he faced the wrath of his Father and endured the pains
of hell. He did it out of love for us.
What a comfort that is for us all. We need a Savior just as much as the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day. Our sinful nature is just as strong as theirs. How often aren’t we rejecting the Savior as they did? We do it when we refuse to listen to him and do our own thing. It happens when we let the activities of life squeeze time for worship and prayer out of our schedules. And yet Jesus loves us. With his love he seeks to draw us back again and again. Again and again he assures of his forgiveness and love. Just as a hen, by instinct, loves her chicks, Jesus loves us because it is part of his nature to do so. Thank God that it is.