Summary: When Jesus used the phrase "under my wings" it was a reference to an ancient custom thats still practiced today in some parts of the world. Its the idea of coming under the covering of someone or some thing for protection and provision.
Living In The Presence of God
I. Psalm 36:5-7, "Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. 6 Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. 7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings."
Psalm 91:1-6, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday."
A. "Under Shadow of thy wings". What does this mean?
a. Remember the time in the N.T. when Jesus had entered Jerusalem on a donkey and the people were waving palm branches & shouting, "Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord." (John 12:13)
b. The Pharisees demanded that Jesus tell the people to shut up. He said if they shut up the rocks will cry out.
c. Later Jesus looked up at the temple and said, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matt. 23:37)
B. Jesus used the term, "how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings" as a way of saying, "I would have protected you just as a hen protects her chicks. I would have taken you under My wings and nothing could touch you without touching Me first."
C. It may sound like a silly question but . . . . did Jesus have "wings"?
a. In the scriptures the phrase "under my wing" is a metaphor, or figure of speech. But yes, Jesus did have wings! Malachi 4:2 says, "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings"
b. In the time of Jesus most people were familiar with that scripture. In those days men wore an outer cloak or mantle. The four corners of the cloak were called "wings". On each corner was a fringe or tassel called a tzitzit. The tassel was made up of white linen threads with one single blue thread running through it. It was to remind them of the Commandments. (Num. 15: 38-39)
c. When the woman with an issue crawled up behind Jesus and touched the border of His garment, she actually touched the fringes on the corner of His prayer shawl.
d. Luke 8:43-44 "And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44 Came behind him, and touched the border (corner or wings) of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched."
e. (Show prayer shawl if you have one available) Old Testament people had tangible things to remind them of God, His commandments, His presence. They had the Tabernacle & Temple, the ark of Covenant, the stones with the commandments, etc. The prayer shawl was used as a portable prayer closet. (Demonstrate putting over head)
f. TODAY: We have the Word and our faith to remind us of the promises of God. Sometimes our faith comes hard. Thats why its good to look in the Word to see the faithfulness of God, both in the O.T. and the N.T.
II. Ancient Custom: "Coming Under The Shadow of My Roof".
A. When Jesus used the phrase "under my wings" it was a reference to an ancient custom thats still practiced today in some parts of the world. Its the idea of coming under the covering of someone or some thing for protection and provision. Lets pretend for a little while and go back to Old Testament times.
B. One day you are sitting at home enjoying a meal, when there is a knock on the door. You open the door and there standing before you is a perfect stranger.
a. According to the custom of that day, you would welcome this stranger into your home.
b. You dont ask him, "What are you selling? Or "What do you want at this time of night?" You dont kick him out and say, "Come back later after were done eating!"