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Why did Jesus say He wanted to gather Jerusalem's children as a hen gathers her chicks?

During Passion Week, as Jesus approached Jerusalem, He wept over the history of Israel's rejection of God's prophets and the people's failure to accept Him and turn from their sin. Jesus criticizes the Jewish religious authorities and their defunct religion in Matthew 23. (Matthew 23:1–39). "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! ", he laments over the misled and spiritually lost children of Jerusalem. How many times I wanted to bring your kids together and shield them under my wings, but you wouldn't allow me do that? (Matthew 23:37, NLT).

Jesus' unrelentingly loving heart wants to gather Jerusalem's children as a hen gathers her chicks, despite Israel's wandering and the leaders' disobedience. The moving metaphor makes me think of a mother hen who wants to hide, protect, and nurture her little hatchlings under the safety of her wings.

Jesus had been pleading with the people of Jerusalem to turn to God and be saved for the last three years. The city is about to crucify its long-awaited Savior rather than listening to the Messiah's speech. The Lord recognizes that events are about to repeat themselves since God's people have a history of assassinating His prophets. Jesus tries to safeguard and defend His followers, but they refuse to let Him.

God's love and compassion are constant and unchanging because they are a part of His essence, as shown in His Son, Jesus. Because he cannot deny who he is, even though we are unfaithful, he still remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13, NLT; see also 1 John 4:8, 16). The Lord will always desire us back no matter how far we go into sin and disobedience. He is unfailingly trustworthy and dependable: "The faithful love of the LORD never fades! His kindnesses never end. Great is his faithfulness, and each morning he shows new mercies (Lamentations 3:22–23, NLT; see also Romans 3:3–4).

God's prophecy through the prophet Isaiah, which reads, "The LORD of Heaven's Armies will hover over Jerusalem and defend it like a bird protecting its nest," connects with Jesus' wish to gather Jerusalem's children like a hen gathers her chicks. He will pass above the city and save it while defending it (Isaiah 31:5, NLT). "Like an eagle that rouses her brood and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to pick them up and carried them safely on his pinions," the ancient song of Moses repeats (Deuteronomy 32:11, NLT). The psalms are replete with references to how "he will cover you with his feathers." His wings will provide you with protection. His dependable promises are your shield and armor (Psalm 91:4, NLT; see also Psalm 17:8; 36:7).

"Have the strength to realize, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is," the apostle Paul asks in his prayer for believers. May you feel Christ's love, which is too tremendous to fully comprehend (Ephesians 3:18–19). Nothing we do can ever separate us from God's flawless and unending love, which never stops reaching out to us (Romans 8:38). Our loving Father always yearns to draw us to Himself, just as a hen collects her chicks safely under her wings, as impossible as that may seem to understand.


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