Summary: Jesus longs to embrace you and tuck you under his wings to save and protect you. And that we should come to Him willingly like a chick that will find comfort and warmth beneath the wings of a mother hen.
Jesus was apparently in Herod’s territory. Some Pharisees came and threatened him, “Leave and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” Herod (Antipas) was the ruler of Galilee and Perea. He was the son of Herod the Great. (v.31)
Jesus was not moved by the threat. He replied, “You go tell that fox this message: I still had work to do—I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow and the
third day I will accomplish my purpose.” (v.32)
Jesus was simply saying, nothing would stop Him from doing what He came to accomplish. His life and ministry had a predetermined plan. He had his own timetable. No power on earth can harm Him until the appointed time. Besides He will not die in Galilee but in Jerusalem, the city where the prophets of God were killed and His messengers were stoned. (Mat 23:37; Luke 13:33) Jerusalem, is where Jesus was appointed to die—the Holy City (Neh 11:1; Is 52:1; Mat 4:5; 27:53; Rev 21:21), the City of God (Ps 46:4; 87:3).
Then Jesus looked in the direction of Jerusalem and He wept over their wicked ways. God sent them prophets but what did they do? They killed them. God sent them servants but what did they do? They stoned them. And now He who is God came down to be with them and what did they do? They rejected Him—
They rejected His miracles, miracles that God alone can perform: the blind received sight, the paralyzed walked, the dead was risen, the lepers were healed. He also drove out demons but they attributed it to Satan.(Luke11:15)
They rejected His message of truth, His teachings. They nullified the commands of God by observing their own traditions. (Luke 11:28)
They rejected His Messiahship; the promised Messiah, the Christ, the Savior that all Israel had been waiting for and then they condemned Him as one worthy of death; they plotted to kill Him. (Mark 3:6)
Despite His people’s rejection of Him, He turned to Jerusalem and with deep sincere passion, wept over the city. The difficulty lay in the hardheartedness and stubborn will of the Jews:
- who would protect them if they’re not willing to come to their protector—Jesus!
- how can they have peace if they rejected the One who would bring them peace—Jesus, the Prince of Peace?
- how can they be saved if they had refused God’s offer of salvation in Jesus Christ when they were visited by God himself.
With their refusal, soon their nation would suffer. Their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, their Savior, would have severe consequences. For they were not willing to come to Jesus, the Lord withdrew His wings of protection upon Israel and in 70 A.D. the Romans (led by Emperor Titus Vespasian Augustus) destroyed Jerusalem. The city, the land and the temple were left desolate—empty and abandoned.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
How those words speak strongly to my heart. Such expressions give us a very clear picture of the divine character of Jesus Christ—full of compassion, sincerely good to all, showing tender-mercies and loving-kindness; one who does not delight with the destruction of the wicked. His weeping over the city, over His people clearly shows His deep and sincere emotions in the words He cried, “I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings but you were not willing!”
In the imagery of the hen tucking her chicks under her wings reveal the deep longingness of a gracious God to embrace His people, a compassionate God who never stop calling unto them to come, come, come let me protect and save you from your wicked ways—but they were not willing. That’s what He came here for—to save His people. But their religiosity blinded them. They were happy with their man-made traditions; besides they have the temple where they can offer sacrifices unto God who dwells therein. They lost sight of the fact that their Savior had come to bring salvation and there He stood before them but they were not willing to accept Him as Lord and Savior. Yes! Jesus longed to embrace them but they were not willing.
I remember when I was in 1st grade. I didn’t mind my mom kissing me until I started going to school. Whenever I came home from school I would let my Mom kiss me after I made sure my friends were not around. No matter how much she wanted to I wouldn’t let her kiss me nor hug me in public. I rejected her sweet, warmth embrace. I felt I was a big boy already. When I was in high school I started smoking and became more radical about my views of life. In college, I thought I already knew everything there is to know about life. I abhorred my parents’ wise counsel. But the more I tried to be independent and followed my own crooked ways, the more I messed up my life. I learned to drink. I did drugs. Long before I became a Christian, my sister shared to me the Gospel of Jesus Christ but then again I turned it down. I nearly joined the Mormon church. For a while I got into Eastern mysticism—yoga and transcendental meditation.