A Hen Gathering Her Chicks
34 “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. 35 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.’”
The food industry is so industrialized that most people will not recognize how a mother hen will interact with her chicks. Back in the days of Jesus, you could visualize many families having a hen to provide them with eggs and also for raising chickens for food or for the local market. A mother hen will protect her chicks for about two months until the chicks are old enough and fast enough to run and hide from danger. The chicks will follow their mom and do what she does to find food. The chicks will gather at night to sleep under her wings for warmth and shelter.
Jesus is using this analogy to show them that he didn’t come to judge and condemn the world. He really wants to protect us just as the mother hen would protect her chicks. He is saddened that Jerusalem having been killing the prophets and stone those that God sends to them. Jesus is longing to gather the children together, but we have all run off on our own ways. Some have come back to Jesus, but many others have left, wandering on their own. Jesus doesn’t promise to protect us from all incidents of ill health or the devil’s schemes. He promises to be there for us when we need shelter from the storm and the promise of a better place in Heaven with a relationship with God. There are foxes and other predators wanting to pick off those chicks for food. We just need to go back to Jesus when we are being chased around.