Scripture: Zechariah 7-9, Luke 13
Luke 13:34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets, you stone the messengers God has sent you! How many times I wanted to put my arms around all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me!”
There are two startling and beautiful things about this saying of Jesus.
First, it was common in the Old Testament to refer to God protecting or caring for Israel under His wings. Here, Jesus uses this metaphor of Himself. It’s another implicit claim to deity. He wants to do for Israel what only God can do. Startling!
Second, this metaphor of a bird gathering her young under her wings to protect and care for them is a beautiful reminder of God’s love and care for us that is repeated often in Scripture.
Ruth 2:12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
Psalm 7:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 36:7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 57:1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
Psalm 61:4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Psalm 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Those who heard Jesus say this would have been very familiar with this idea, but Jesus adds this startling judgment: I wanted to gather you under my wings, and you would not let me. I offered you my care and protection and you refused.
God offers us His love, yet so often we push Him away. Like Adam and Eve, we want to do it on our own, so we push God away.
Don’t push God away. Don’t refuse His offer of love and care.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for loving us so deeply. Help me to run under Your wings rather than run away from You.