“O 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, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34, NIV84)
When Jesus spoke these words Jerusalem was the religious capital of Judaism, and had been so for centuries. It was a city that should have welcomed God’s prophets, and especially His Messiah. But it just wasn’t the case. But before we place all the blame on the Pharisees and Sadducees, let’s remind ourselves that we face the same temptation. Religious people are always tempted to make their religion their idol by creating it in a manner that is palatable to their senses. Satan tempts all religious people to get off of what is core to their theology (God’s word) and focus more on man’s interpretation and reasoning. This was true back then, and it is true today.
The Christian world, like the Judaic world, is guilty of creating a religion within a religion and ultimately missing the point. Jesus is telling us that all He desires (as a hen with her chicks) is to place us under His wing of protection. The problem is we are unwilling. And that unwillingness has caused us to miss messages and messengers that God has sent our way. We need to humbly repent of our idolatry and turn back to Jesus. We need to surrender control of our religious beliefs to the one we believe in. Jesus is God’s word made flesh. We need to listen and accept His word for what it is. Jesus doesn’t need our human reasoning and interpretation to be meaningful. We need to find meaning in what God’s word clearly states.
Today, let’s realize that God loves us so much that He comes to us (like a mother hen) to guard and protect us. Let’s not allow our theology to get in the way of His working on our behalf.